JETS INSIDER - Robbie Middleby

In this week’s edition of Jets Insider, Robbie Middleby answered questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Jets Insider, CEO Robbie Middleby answered questions submitted by the Club-s Members and supporters.

Middleby discusses topics including new signing Kew Jaliens, five-man benches and the Jets- Membership drive.

@kid11y asks via Twitter: Where are we at with getting a big name defender?

Robbie Middleby (RM): Obviously yesterday (after question was submitted) we were able to finalise the signing of Dutch international Kew Jaliens, which as a Club we are very pleased about.

Kew brings a wealth of experience at both international and Club level and we-re really looking forward to him linking up with the rest of the squad.

We really think he will complement the players we-ve already got in our backline as well as giving us some added leadership in that part of the pitch.

Alex Sharp asks via email: What are your thoughts on the A-League allowing five-man benches this season?

RM: I think it is a positive thing for the competition. I-ve always thought that only having four substitutes on the bench limits a coach-s options during a game.

Having an extra player to call on will make things a bit more interesting in a tactical sense and it is also in line with what the top leagues around the world have in place.

Thomas Moore asks via email: Do you ever worry the Jets won't get to benefit much from all the talented young players we have coming through at the Club because they will be poached by overseas Clubs?

RM: It-s about trying to find a balance between those two scenarios.

It-s our philosophy to promote talented young players and it is fantastic to see quite a few come through and do well for the Young Socceroos and Socceroos.

In a perfect world, the main objective is to keep them at the Club as long as we can, but young players will always have ambitions to play at the top level overseas.

The A-League is getting better each season and the more the competition improves, the more we will see these types of players stay in the country.

Brian Jarvis asks via email: Now that we have signed what looks like our last player for this season, are you happy with the way the squad looks?

RM: We-ll always look at options to keep strengthening the team, but I think we-ve got a good balance within our squad this year and barring injuries I think we-re in for an exciting season.

Alice Smith asks via email: Will the Club do everything it can to try and keep Nathan Burns for the full season?

RM: We wanted to keep Nathan at the Jets for the full A-League season to start with, but after long negotiations with his Korean Club Incheon United, we were able to secure him on a loan deal until early January.

We-ll definitely do everything in our power to keep Nathan here for the rest of the season, but if that doesn-t work out, we will explore the opportunity to find a suitable replacement during the January transfer window.

@blackmac79 How many Members have we currently signed-up?

RM: We-ve already signed-up more than 7,500 Jets Members for the 2013/14 A-League season.

We have also just launched our exciting new Primary Schools Reward Program, which is the latest way to encourage your child's friends and teachers to get behind the Newcastle Jets in 2013/14.

We-re hoping this program will contribute to even more Novocastrians signing up as Jets Members for the upcoming season.

Steve Collins asks via email: Hi Robbie, which game are you looking forward to most this season?

RM: We-ve got quite a few exciting home matches to look forward to this season.

Obviously the F3 Derby in Round 4 is one that every Jets supporter has marked on their calendar, but we also host Western Sydney Wanderers twice at home, as well as Harry Kewell and Melbourne Heart and not to mention Alessandro Del Piero and Sydney FC.

As far as away matches go, it-s hard to look past our first game of the season against Sydney FC. When you look at the corresponding game last season with the crowd, atmosphere and then the result going our way, hopefully we can see something similar this time around.

Jess Tallwood asks via email: Apart from the Jets, who are the teams to watch in the A-League this season?

RM: I think recruitment by A-League Clubs across the board has been really good this off-season and I think the league as a whole will be stronger because of that.

It-s a great sign for the A-League and I think like last season, the competition will be very tight again, which is great for the fans.

We-re confident we-ve got a good enough squad to be in the mix at the business end of the season and we-re really looking forward to the season getting underway.

@chumpster27 asks via Twitter: Any chance of seeing more Youth League fixtures before the main game?

RM: Like we do every season, we-ll investigate the possibility of playing a National Youth League fixture at Hunter Stadium as a curtain-raiser for an A-League game.

It doesn-t happen more frequently because of the difficulties surrounding timing and scheduling issues. There are a lot of factors that come into it with the television broadcast and what time the curtain-raiser matches have to be finished by.

We-ll continue to work with the Stadium and the FFA to figure out the logistics around it.

Thank you for all your Jets Insider questions! Make sure you follow @NewcastleJetsFC on Twitter to find out who will be answering questions from Members and supporters next week!