INCOMING assistant coach Darren Bazeley feels as though he knows the Jets players despite having met only a few.
Bazeley has spent the past three months, punctuated by two spells in quarantine, analysing game vision and and preparing notes in readiness for his first day on the training pitch.
That day is just over a week away. Bazeley is in his seventh day of quarantine at the Radisson Hotel in Sydney after arriving from Auckland, where his family is based.
Coach Carl Robinson touched down from Canada on Sunday, while fellow assistant Kenny Miller began his isolation period on Saturday. All are in Sydney.
"I did a lot of the analysis while I was in New Zealand," Bazeley said. "I watched every game, some of them a few times. I'm looking forward to getting involved and meeting them properly.
"The way the season was going, the team was on a real high. We will be looking to carry that good form."
As well as study game footage, the coaching staff are being sent vision of each training session.
"Craig Deans, Daniel McBreen and the other staff are doing a great job," Bazeley said. "Carl has been planning sessions and passing it on so he gets what he wants out of these few weeks. The lads look like they are in a good space, they are energetic and enthusiastic and they look excited to be back out on the pitch."
Bazeley is serving his second period of quarantine in the past five months. He travelled to Newcastle in March from the US, where he had been an assistant coach at the Colorado Rapids, and had spent six days in isolation when the A-League was shut down due to COVID-19.
"I had watched two games on the computer and then they cancelled the league and sent everyone home," Bazeley said. "I went back to New Zealand because they were closing the border and was there for three months.
"It has been a strange time for everybody. For me it was quite nice in a way. Being Involved in football, you never get periods of time like this. I have been in American for two years away from the kids and the wife and the dog. It was really nice to spend some time at home."
Originally from England, Bazeley, 47, played alongside Robinson at Wolverhampton and Walsall.
Bazeley finished his career playing for the New Zealand Knights in the opening two seasons of the A-League before turning to coaching.
He and Robinson stayed "in touch" and reconnected when both were coaching in Major League Soccer.
"When Carl started looking at the A-League, he knew this was my part of the world," Bazeley said. "He was asking questions about the league, the club and the players ... Australia and New Zealand in general.
"I was still under contract at Colorado but it was tough being so far away from home. He asked if Id move if the opportunity came up. I told him I would definitely look at it and it progressed from there.
"Colorado Rapids are a very good club with great people. They understood the issue with the family being so far away. I have two girls. They are older enough to look after themselves but it's still tough being away. My wife was travelling backwards and forwards three times a year. This opportunity came up a lot closer to home. My wife will be able to come out and live here and still be close enough to the kids. "
Bazeley, who has also coached the New Zealand under-17 and 20 national teams, focused mainly on attack in Colorado.
"I was working with the fullbacks and wingers," he said. "That was where I played. I definitely feel like I can help the wide players at the Jets with their crossing and getting them into good positions to help create some goals.
"Everybody has specialist areas. Kenny is a goal-scorer and will be key in that area. My job is to support Robbo and make sure everything is done how he wants it and give him my thoughts.
"We obviously want to get results and continue to build the club and develop the young players. I feel it is going to be quite a rounded job."