Wheelhouse: My heart wasn’t in it anymore

Jobe Wheelhouse has revealed a waning desire to play professional football was behind his decision to part ways with the Jets.

Jobe Wheelhouse has revealed that a loss of passion for playing football at a professional level was behind his decision to part ways with the Newcastle Jets effective immediately.

Speaking to the media alongside Jets head coach Gary van Egmond on Thursday afternoon, Wheelhouse indicated that his desire to play professional football had been waning for some time.

“My heart has sort of taken me away from football, at this club anyway,” Wheelhouse said.

“That-s the decision that I-ve come to. It-s not something that I-ve made overnight, it-s been a long time coming and I think at the moment that-s the right decision for me to part ways with the Jets and start a new chapter in my life.

“I think I-d be cheating myself and cheating my teammates if I was to turn up to training and pick up a pay cheque for something that I just wasn-t in it for.”

The former Young Socceroo revealed he had also turned down an opportunity to join Melbourne Heart for the remainder of the current A-League season and the 2013/14 season.

“I had a good offer from Melbourne Heart and I thank them for that, but I don-t want to go down there just to get a pay cheque,” Wheelhouse said.

“They made me a really good offer but I-m not here for the money and it-s never been for the money.”

Wheelhouse was adamant that he was not retiring from the sport, but rather that he needed some time away from the professional game in order to make a decision on which direction to take next in life.

“I-ll take couple of weeks off I think, just to unwind, relax, let everything soak up and hopefully I-ll come to some sort of decision on where my future lies in the next month or so,” Wheelhouse said.

“I-m pretty happy with the decision at the moment and I-m not saying I won-t play football again, because it-s been a part of my life since I was really young.”

Wheelhouse said that while he was initially disappointed not to have been offered a contract extension by the Jets, that was not the reason behind his decision to part ways with the club.

The 27-year-old said that if he had re-signed with the Jets, it would have been ‘for the wrong reasons-.

“Back maybe three months ago, if there was interest (from the Jets) I would have considered it no doubt because it is my hometown, but I probably would have been doing it for the wrong reasons,” Wheelhouse explained.

“There-s other things involved, it-s not just because the Jets didn-t want to keep me, that-s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Jets head coach Gary van Egmond said Wheelhouse deserved credit for his honest approach in difficult circumstances.

“We respect his decision, because it has been an honest decision. He could have stayed and been in and around the group, but his heart is not in it,” van Egmond said.

“From that perspective he needs to be congratulated because he has put his hand up and made sure he has been honest with everyone and all we hope for is that he finds exactly what he wants.

“It would have been easier for him to stay (for the rest of the season) in some respects, it would have been very easy for him to go down to Melbourne Heart and collect that contract but he was not going to do that for the wrong reasons and he should be applauded for that.”

Wheelhouse said he would continue to give his former Jets teammates his full support as they continue their push for a spot in the A-League finals.

“There-s no doubt I-ll be cheering them on and hopefully they do well in the coming years and the coming games this season and hopefully they go into the finals and do well,” Wheelhouse said.