JOHNNY Koutroumbis spent his COVID-19-enforced down time in Adelaide studying video of England centreback Gary Cahill in between churning out kilometres around Henley Beach.
The video viewing was part of the "homework" that Jets coach Carl Robinson set each player to ensure the shutdown wasn't wasted.
"I have spoken to Carl a couple of times," said Koutroumbis, who returned to Newcastle just prior to the team resuming training last Wednesday. "He gave each individual homework. I had to look at a few centrebacks to see what they were doing. Identify their strengths and try to add parts of their game to the way I do things. He gave me a few clips on Gary Cahill. There was a lot of information. That was one of the players he sent me."
Although only working with the group since February, Koutroumbis said the former Welsh international had already had a positive influence on his game.
"He is an attention to detail coach," Koutroumbis said. "He identifies the weaknesses and strengths in each individual player. He will be able to help me tremendously, especially with the weaker aspects of my game."
Robinson departs on Thursday from Canada, where he has spent the past two months with his family, and on arriving in Sydney will have to spend 14 days in quarantine. Assistant coach Kenny Miller leaves Scotland on the same day. Recently-appointed assistant Darren Bazeley arrived in Sydney on Tuesday from New Zealand and has completed one day in isolation.
Bazeley is a former defender, who played in the A-League for the New Zealand Knights. He was an assistant coach with US Major League soccer club Colorado Rapids last year and has coached New Zealand youth teams.
"He has been in the game for a while and has coached the New Zealand under-17s and 20s," Koutroumbis said. "He is very knowledgeable and I can't wait to start working with him. I can't wait to work with all three of them."
Koutroumbis said caretaker coach Craig Deans had been pushing the players hard since resuming training.
"Deansy is implementing the same training as we did before COVID-19," the defender said. "I have been training at centreback. I feel fit. There was nothing else to do [during the shutdown] but keep fit and do some work around the house. I have maintained my fitness. Not match fitness, but in terms of being able to finish training, I have been able to keep up with the boys."
Koutroumbis spent 10 weeks in Adelaide.
"I headed back on March 24, a day after the last game," he said. "I did a lot of running around Henley Beach and West Beach area. It was quite flat and scenic.
"It was hard going from a team environment to training by myself. I did some football stuff. I was cycling and playing tennis with my brother. I kept pretty fit over the break.
"It was really good to spend time with my girlfriend and family. As a footballer, you don't get breaks like that. It was good to see familiar faces but I was itching to come back. It was too long away from football."
The Jets restart their campaign away against Sydney FC on July 21. They back up against the Mariners on July 24 before hosting Western United (August 3) and Wellington (August 11).
"The goal for me is to win games," Koutroumbis said. "That is what I want most out of the rest of this season."