De Groot loving Newcastle life

Dutchman Donny De Groot admits he may have found a 'home away from home' playing for the Jets and coach Gary 'Dutchy' Van Egmond in Newcastle.

Dutchman Donny De Groot admits he may have found a 'home away from home' playing for the Jets and coach Gary 'Dutchy' Van Egmond in Newcastle.

De Groot told Sportal he has been assimilating well to the way of life in the Northern New South Wales coastal town and is looking forward to creating an impression in the Jets' Asian Champions League campaign and in the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League.

"I like the city, I like the beaches and the restaurants and the weather," De Groot said of his early impressions of Newcastle.

"The first two weeks I lived in a hotel which was quite hard but I have found a house now everything is fine. My wife is happy, my daughter is happy, so I can't complain."

"I am happy to say the weather is different from where I lived in Holland. The town is about the same size as where I lived, but it was a bit more crowded."

"Newcastle is quite spread out and I still find myself getting lost when I drive around. But for the rest we are enjoying it."

The 29-year-old has signed to the Jets on a one-year deal and comes to the former premiers with a colourful history mostly in his homeland.

He played for Dutch Eredivisie mainstays FC Utrecht and De Graafschap, and made a name for himself in the 2002/03 season of the Eerste Divisie's when he scored an astounding 30 goals in 31 games for FC Emmen.

De Groot has also enjoyed a stint at Cypriot side AEK Larnaca in 2006/07 but the lanky striker admitted he didn't know too much about the Jets or the Hyundai A-League before the Newcastle scouts came knocking. However, he was impressed with the club's organisation and the chance to play in the Asian Champions League.

"I knew a little bit about (the A-League) but not much," he said.

"First of all it is the other side of the world. In Holland the deadline for signing for clubs was getting closer so we had weigh up what we had to do but it all sounded good and well organised so I decided to go."

"I have to say the chance to play in the Asian Champions League was one of the interesting things and I have to say it is probably the reason why they come after me because the new season doesn't start to August."

The likeable Dutchman said he was 'disappointed' with the Jets' 2-0 loss in their ACL opener against Beijing Guoan last week but buoyed by Newcastle's impressive 2-0 win over Korean side Hyundai Ulsan on Tuesday night.

"It was a disappointing result in China we should have got a better result than a loss so that wasn't a great way to start," he said.

"But we have to grow and we have to get better. We played a much better game against Ulsan and I am starting to work well with Sasho (Petrovski). We are similar style of players so we still have things to work out but for now I am happy with how it is going."

In the meantime, De Groot said he was keen to create a regular spot for himself in the Jets' starting line-up and warm the hearts of fans by putting the ball into the back of the net with some regularity.

"I don't know what the expectations are but that is what they get me for (to score goals)," he said. "I prefer to play in the box and I like to score goals - that is what I do."