Football 2 years ago

Youthful Miller seeks Jets redemption

  • Youthful Miller seeks Jets redemption

He may be the youngest coach in A-League history but don't accuse new Newcastle Jets mentor Scott Miller of lacking experience.

At 34, the Australian former Fulham assistant coach is a mere two years older than the club's newly signed Brazilian marquee Leonardo.

Yet his task is one of the A-League's most challenging - rebuilding a club long starved of success and reeling from the dark days of the Nathan Tinkler era that ended with the FFA's takeover.

You might also like

With the Jets' sale to Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson imminent things are finally looking up, and Miller is aiming to steer last season's wooden spooners to a first finals campaign in five years.

As he prepares to pick up the clipboard for the first time against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, the one-time Socceroos fitness coach can acknowledge his relative youth compared to rival counterparts such as Sydney FC's Graham Arnold, Melbourne City's John van 't Schip and Melbourne Victory's Kevin Muscat.

However he challenges anyone to label him green given his nine years' experience at Fulham under managers including Martin Jol and the man he calls his inspiration, England manager Roy Hodgson.

"I am the youngest, that's reality," Miller told AAP.

"But to have eight years in the English Premier League and one in the Championship, if you call me 34-year-old wet around the ears it's not really reality.

"I'm not fresh out of university. With nine or 10 years in English football, I've learnt a lot. That's not confidence, that's based upon me listening to some great coaches and learning off them."

Miller is proud to take up his first head coaching role in his home country and is relishing the chance to implement his ideas on a team in dire need of revival.

"Last year was obviously a challenge ... arriving into the club and recognising where it was at was a bigger job than I first thought," he said.

"But we've worked very hard on and off the field to show respect for the community and engage with them, and build a strong team."

Striker Leonardo headlines 11 new recruits including captain Nigel Boogaard from Adelaide United and former Western Sydney Wanderers pair Labinot Haliti and Mateo Poljak.

"The players understood the situation they were coming into and I thought it was brave of them to join us," Miller said.

"They're going to play my style. It's high energy, it's commitment, it's work ethic, it's technical.

"It's not about dictating to the players, it's about empowering them - asking them questions and understanding whether they feel comfortable in the system.

"Once the players agree to that and they feel comfortable with it, that's when I expect them to step up. Because we've agreed it together."

0 0
please wait...