Jones red-hot favourite to coach Newcastle

The drums are beating loudly in both Newcastle and Adelaide that Mark Jones will be the next coach of the Jets, but there is still no announcement at this stage.

Jones

Mark Jones at Adelaide United's training ground Source: Adelaide United

Speculation in Newcastle on Thursday was that Jones was an overwhelming favourite to get the job and that Newcastle CEO Lawrie McKinna could make an announcement as early as Friday.

Jones, who is from Newcastle and has twice previously been an assistant coach at the Jets, is currently in charge of both Adelaide United's youth team and W-League team.

In Adelaide on Thursday, the speculation was that Jones had told Adelaide officials he was taking up the job at Newcastle.

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The World Game spoke to Jones on Thursday night and he was guarded in what he had to say.

"Obviously I'm keen to get the opportunity, but I don't want to jeopardise that possibility by talking too much," Jones said.



"So, hoping to get an opportunity and hoping to find out soon, I guess."

Jones said he was still in Adelaide and continuing with his normal coaching duties.

"I've got some NPL trial games tonight that I'm watching," he said. "I appreciate your call and hopefully I'll know something very soon."

The Jets have an important trial game scheduled against Western Sydney Wanderers at Cessnock on Saturday and it would obviously be ideal if the new coach was there, at least as an observer if not physically taking the reins that quickly.

If there is no announcement on Friday, then there may not be one until early next week.



Newcastle will play their first-round game in the A-League against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, October 9.

McKinna was saying on Thursday that a decision on a coach had not yet been finalised, but it is understood Jones was still on the short-list when it was earlier cut to three and the word out of Newcastle is that he is a red-hot favourite.

The suggestion is that Jones, 50, could have Clayton Zane as his assistant coach at the Jets. Zane has been preparing the team as caretaker-coach since Scott Miller was sacked as coach several weeks ago.

Thoughts of hiring a coach from overseas - former Premier League star Teddy Sheringham had been mentioned - were abandoned, apparently because of cost.

And it is getting so late in the day for a decision now that it is felt the appointment of a local with a real feel for football in the Newcastle area, namely Jones, makes increasing sense.


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Published 22 September 2016 at 10:45pm
By Greg Prichard