The Newcastle Jets have confirmed the makeup of Ernie Merrick’s Football Department for the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season.
Merrick’s department remains mostly unchanged from the group that led the Jets to the 2018 Grand Final, with the departure of Head Physiotherapist Justin Dougherty the only major change.
Dougherty departed the Jets during the off-season after a six-year stint with the club, and has been replaced by Nathan Renwick.
A Newcastle local, Nathan brings a wealth of experience from his time with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Sydney Bears in the Intrust Super Premiership as well as stints with both England and the USA during the Rugby League World Cup.
Jets’ boss Ernie Merrick was excited to welcome Renwick into the Jets team.
“Nathan has been really impressive in his short time with the club and he brings a wide range of experience having worked across a number of sports,” said Merrick.
“Chris Smith (Strength and Conditioning) did a fantastic job in partnership with Justin Dougherty last season, and I have no doubts that Nathan will continue that great standard of work to keep our squad fit and firing in 2018/19.”
In the only other change, Joel Griffiths will expand his role in Football Operations moving into a permanent, full-time role.
Jets’ CEO Lawrie McKinna said that Griffiths had done an excellent job in helping build the current squad.
“He’s got a real talent for signing and recruiting players and was an important part of our success last season, I’m glad we’ve been able to expand his role significantly,” said McKinna.
“Joel will continue to work in recruitment as well as take on additional work in team logistics and the overall operations of our Football Department.”
Assistant Coaches Clayton Zane and Qiang Li will return, as will Goalkeeping Coach Chris Bowling who embarks on his second season with the club.
Brent Anderson will also continue in his role as Team Manager, entering his 11th season with the Jets.
Both Merrick and McKinna were pleased with the way the Football Department had come together as the pre-season approached.
“We’ve got a great team on hand to lead the boys into this season, they epitomise the values of our club and we’re proud to have them representing the Jets,” said McKinna.
“They boast exceptional expertise in key areas and they’re a great group to work with,” added Merrick.
Newcastle Jets Football Department 2018/19
Head Coach: Ernie Merrick
Assistant Coaches: Clayton Zane and Qiang Li
Goalkeeping Coach: Chris Bowling
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Chris Smith
Head Physiotherapist: Nathan Renwick
Football Operations Manager: Joel Griffiths
Team Manager: Brent Anderson