De Bohun: Newcastle will be a club of the people

Head of the Hyundai A-League Damien De Bohun says the Jets will engage with the Newcastle community on a massive scale as the resurgence of the club continues.

Speaking in Newcastle on Thursday following a forum with local business leaders on Wednesday night, De Bohun said he was impressed with the passion expressed for Newcastle Jets at the meeting. 

“What emerged very clearly as a key theme was that we have to make sure the 60,000 participants in this region become active fans of the Newcastle Jets,” he said.

“We need to work together to make that happen and we’ve said from the outset, we’re here to listen.

“Yes, we’ve a clear vision of what the club will look like but we’re here to listen and listen very carefully to what the people of Newcastle want to see from their football club."

Jets fans at Hunter Stadium.

De Bohun was bullish about the community in and around Newcastle playing a pivotal role in their A-League club’s resurgence by being engaged with the players and staff over the next 12 months. 

“My expectation is the players and coaching staff of Newcastle Jets will be the busiest people in the Hyundai A-League,” he explained. 

“What’s emerged absolutely clearly is that this club will succeed in the long-term based on the extent to which it truly engages with the local community.”

And next week there will be a community forum in Newcastle. 

He emphasised the importance of reinvigorating the club along the lines of the Western Sydney Wanderers.

After just three weeks since taking ownership control, FFA have worked hard to re-energise the former Hyundai A-League Championship winners.

13 players recommit to Newcastle Jets

But De Bohun stressed that FFA will look to secure “the right owner” for the club but is committed in the short term to running the club professionally and with community very much in the forefront.

He believed a new owner of the club could be in place by the start of the season, but stressed that FFA are committed to running the club till the right ownership structure was in place.

“The fact we’ve had so much interest is a great sign,” De Bohun said.

“It’s fair to say we’re looking at groups of people [potential owners] who’ll come together… who will actively engage and involve the [local] community.”

Meanwhile, De Bohun expects the new coach to be on board by June 22, when the existing players currently on the books of the club return to prepare for Season 11.

Newcastle Jets will seek a new coach for the 2015/16 Hyundai A-League season.

The club has had 13 players re-commit to the Jets this week. Nigel Boogaard, Lee Ki-je, Enver Alivodic, Ben Kennedy, Ben Kantarovski, David Carney, Mitch Cooper, Daniel Mullen, Andy Brennan, Josh Barresi, Radovan Pavicevic, and Themba Muata-Marlow have each committed to playing their part in the development and success of the new Newcastle Jets.

De Bohun added announcements about new club sponsors will be announced in the near future.

Meanwhile, James Pascoe was unveiled this week as the club’s football manager in an acting capacity.

“It’s a statement from us there are people in the club who understand the landscape,” De Bohun said of Pascoe.