Newcastle Jets are pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Deans as Head Coach of the Club for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 A-League seasons.
The confirmation of Deans’ position not only provides the Club with real stability but with a leader who knows and understands the Club and its junior pathways.
"We’re very happy to be able to confirm Craig Deans as Head Coach of the Jets," Executive Chairman, Shane Mattiske said.
“He’s proven that during what was a challenging period, he can bring together a team and build real success.
“He comes from our community, deeply understands our Club and our Players, and has demonstrated his ability to deliver a very competitive team within a very tough competition.
“He is the right person for this team, this town and this region.
“Craig has created a side that is working for each other, working for him and working for our community. We look forward to seeing this momentum carry forward in this season’s competition and beyond.
“With this move to cement Craig as the Head Coach for the Club, we are committing to support him and the team with the resources to ensure that we will be fiercely competitive.
“Craig is part of the Club’s commitment to our future success – and we look forward to our fans, members and partners standing behind Craig, our team and our Club in our fight for the ultimate success.
“With our next home game scheduled for Sunday, February 28, we hope to see all our members and fans to come out to show their support for Craig and the team.”
Deans’ appointment follows a robust process that included the assessment of a wide range of candidates against a defined criteria and input from an advisory panel that included the likes of Alex Tobin, Ron Smith, Lawrie McKinna, Joel Griffiths and Mattiske.
The criteria covered areas such as experience, character, Club alignment, and football philosophy amongst others.
More than 20 candidates were identified as potential coaches before that list was reduced.
Interviews and background checks were then completed before the first-choice candidate was identified.
Deans, 46, has gained experience in coaching the Jets on an interim basis on three occasions.
The former Academy Director and Westfield W-League coach, Deans first took over from Branko Culina in 2011 before Gary van Egmond returned to the Club.
He then took over from Ernie Merrick before Carl Robinson returned from overseas, and again after Robinson left for Western Sydney in October.
"I’m very proud to be given the opportunity to lead the Club," Deans said.
“After successfully working through some challenging times as a Club, we can now focus on moving forward and building a strong culture both on and off the field to enable us to bring success to this Club and the Newcastle region.
“I would like to thank Shane and the new ownership group for putting their faith in me and thank the players for their commitment and effort through the pre-season and the first seven games of the season.
“I also want to say a big thanks to all the coaching and support staff who work beside me, and within the Jets system, for all that they have done in helping me get to this point.
“Finally, I want to thank the fans for their valuable support. We’re back at McDonald Jones Stadium on February 28 and I cannot wait to see our fans and members out in force to support the team.”
As a player, Deans had a successful NSL career with Perth before joining Newcastle in 2003.
A former centre-back, Deans became the inaugural youth team coach for the Club in 2008.
He spent five seasons at the helm of the Westfield W-League team, claiming 2015-16 W-League Coach of the Year honours.