If you tuned in to Newcastle Jets’ Hyundai A-League clash with Melbourne City last weekend, you would have noticed a host of Jets players with freshly cropped haircuts.
But it was not a result of a lost bet or a punishment from coach Ernie Merrick, rather a noble action for a good cause.
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Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley – who along with skipper Nigel Boogaard, Lachlan Jackson, Ben Kantarovski and Jason Hoffman decided to shave their heads – explains the story.
“Originally a few of us got behind the Movember campaign, raising money and awareness for men’s health by growing mo’s,” Topor-Stanley told www.a-league.con.au this week.
“Nigel Boogaard and his father [Michael] also did the campaign and Nigel’s father has had a mo for 35 years.
“He had quite substantial facial hair and he was doing the reverse, he was going to shave it off at the end of November.”
It all went down at a special event at the Queens Wharf Hotel last Friday, with the Jets quintet and Boogaard senior having their moustache’s shaved off.
“Then in the moment, Nigel’s floated the idea to the crowd that he would shave his head if the people would put some more money in the kitty,” Topor-Stanley continued.
“In the spirit of things the boys and I thought why not do it, the more money we can raise the better.
“We might have got carried away a bit there but it was all for a good cause and to make a statement that we were all in it together.”
The honourable gesture raised an extra $1500 on the night for the worthy cause.
Topor-Stanley and his teammates’ attention will now turn to getting things right on the pitch with a crucial clash against Brisbane Roar at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.
Despite winning just one of their opening six games, the experienced centre-back insists there is no need for the side to panic just yet.
But he admits performances must improve if the Jets are to start moving up the Hyundai A-League table.
“We know we need to do better and we should do better," Topor-Stanley said.
"We need to remedy that with a big performance at home.
“I don’t think motivation has lacked in this squad. We have enough experienced heads to know that every day is important.
“I don’t think that’s changed, our belief won’t change, we just need to execute better. We need to come with the same attitude and belief we show in training and bring it into game day.”