Former Welsh international to coach Jets

Newcastle have appointed former Welsh international Carl Robinson as their A-League head coach.

Newcastle have signed former Welsh international Carl Robinson as head coach of the A-League team on a three-and-a-half year deal.

The 43-year-old will arrive in Newcastle before the Jets play Central Coast on Sunday at McDonald Jones Stadium and take over the team on Monday from interim coach Craig Deans.

Robinson had a 15-year professional football career, earning 52 caps with Wales and more than 400 games in the English Premier League, Championship and Major League Soccer (MLS).

The former Vancouver Whitecaps' coach replaces Ernie Merrick, sacked from the role on January 6.

During his five-year career in Canada, Robinson became the longest-serving coach in Whitecaps history and steered them to three appearances in the MLS playoffs and to the MLS western conference semi-finals twice.

They also claimed the Canadian Championship in 2015.

He left the club in 2018 and took an 18-month break from the game.

Robinson was in Newcastle in mid-January to meet the club and watch a training session as well as the Jets' 2-0 loss to Melbourne City in round 15.

"I am thrilled to be taking charge of the Jets. Everything I have seen about the club so far has been top class, they are desperate for success and, hopefully, we can achieve that together," Robinson said in a statement.

"After first speaking to Lawrie (McKinna, Jets chief executive), I was genuinely excited about Newcastle. I spoke to several other people in and around the League and former teammates of mine who have played and coached in Australia, and everyone was unbelievably positive about the club and the Hyundai A-League in general.

"The opportunity was too good to turn down. I am really looking forward to finalising my coaching staff, rolling our sleeves up and getting to work.

"I am moving my family from a beautiful city in Vancouver to another amazing part of the world. The city of Newcastle is a city on the up, and myself and my family are looking forward to joining the community and playing a huge part in the continued growth of football in this area."

McKinna said Robinson's name was one of the first mentioned after Merrick's exit, due to his experience as a player and coach, who has worked within a salary-cap system.

"He's an experienced coach with a good understanding of the A-League, and he knows how to work within a salary cap due to his MLS experience which is crucial for us," McKinna said.

"We've spoken at length about just about everything to do with the club. He came out to tour our facilities and the city to make sure it was the right fit for him which says a lot to us about the character of the man - that is very important to us."


AAP