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A GOOD SPORT: Sense of pride in Jets’ jersey this season

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There’s an air of optimism throughout the Newcastle Jets fraternity, which can only be a good thing for the region.

From my time around the A-League Men’s and Women’s camps in recent weeks, you can’t help but notice the positivity brimming from both squads.

Whether that’s a flow-on effect from the Matildas’ dazzling display in the FIFA World Cup, or the Newcastle Knights’ NRLW side capturing back-to-back titles earlier in the month, we’ll never know.

However, with new managers in place – Rob Stanton (ALM) and Gary van Egmond (ALW), and a handful of experienced newcomers, the results of 2022/23 have certainly been pushed into the background.

And, rightly so.

Season 2023/24 offers hope, hype and much more for the Jets faithful if the mood at the club’s launch is anything to go by.

There is also a sense of pride among the players in donning a Newcastle jersey this season.

To see van Egmond’s ALW outfit fight all the way to grab a thrilling victory on Saturday, via a brilliant Melina Ayres header, was certainly an impressive starting point for better things to come.

The ALM will get its opportunity to do likewise this coming weekend.

Good luck.

Cricketers following rugby players’ footsteps

Excuse my ignorance, I must have missed the media conference where Eddie Jones announced he was swapping sports.

That’s the only legitimate reason I can put down to Australia’s poor start in the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Jones, after the Wallabies’ recent dismal performance on the international rugby stage, has clearly taken over from Andrew McDonald as the coach of the national cricket side.

Like their union counterparts, Pat Cummins and the boys looked devoid of ideas or energy.

Their insipid effort against hosts India in the opener was backed up by another “shocker”, this time in the clash with long-time foes South Africa.

What have the Aussies been doing in the lead-up to the tournament, which they’ve won more times than any other country?

Obviously, not fielding practice.

I’ve never seen an Australian side appear so lacklustre in big matches.

And, a lack of strategy – or a back-up plan – seems like it’s been placed in the “too hard” basket as well.

I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of Cummins, especially after his role in former mentor Justin Langer’s departure.

But, he’s clueless out in the middle.

Once things don’t go the Aussies’ way, the skipper struggles to change the momentum of the match.

However, it must be said, he’s not on his Pat Malone, no one – apart from Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Starc and Glenn Maxwell – has set the competition alight.

Maybe, Cummins was too worried about the Yes campaign, which he and others backed to the hilt.

Gone are the days when our sporting heroes just concentrated on what they needed to do on the field.

Now, it’s understood the players have been offered counselling following the referendum’s huge defeat at the weekend.

There’s a saying sport and politics shouldn’t mix… and that could not be “more true”.

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