Former Juventus goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan has signed on as the Newcastle Jets's goalkeeping coach for the 2015/16 Hyundai A-League season.
Vanstrattan, who joined the Jets in a player/mentor capacity early in 2015, will turn his full attention to coaching the club’s custodians from next pre-season.
The former Serie A gloveman was signed by Juventus in 2001 and subsequently spent seven seasons on loan at various Italian clubs before returing to Australia in 2008 to play for Gold Coast United.
The 32-year-old, who also went on to represent the Central Coast Mariners, said he feels the Jets can excel next campaign.
“Since I have been here I have seen a lot of good things,” Vanstrattan said. “From the front office to here on the training paddock I have seen nothing but positive signs.”
“I am excited to be involved and grateful for the opportunity,” he said.
One goalkeeper Vanstrattan will definitely work with throughout Hyundai A-League season 11 is long-time Jet and local product Ben Kennedy.
Earlier this year Kennedy signed a two-season contract extension with Phil Stubbins' side.
Vanstrattan believes ‘BK’ has the capacity to further his game considerably.
“Ben has a lot of potential and I have told him that,” he said. “But there are a number of things that we can work on with him and continuously improve.”
“It comes back to the style of play that we want to play, things like keeping the ball and playing out from the back.”
“’BK’ has a lot of talent – he’s a good shot-stopper but I think we can make him more commanding in the area, more demanding, give him a bigger presence.”
“He [Kennedy] has the possibility and potential to make the step from where he is now to being one of the best goalkeeper in the league. I can’t see why he can’t achieve that,” Vanstrattan concluded.
Newcastle Jets Head Coach Phil Stubbins said Vanstrattan is an important member of his coaching team.
“We’re very fortunate to have somebody with the experience of Jess Vanstrattan at the club,” Stubbins said.
“He’s had some impact already on the goalkeepers and he’s got a winning mentality – something that I believe will filter through the group.”
“He’s very professional and humble, so we’re looking forward to Jess’ contributions next season,” Stubbins concluded.