THE only man to have coached the Newcastle Jets to championship success is keen for a third stint in the hot seat.
Gary van Egmond, who steered Newcastle to their memorable triumph over Central Coast Mariners in the 2008 grand final, is understood to expressed interest in becoming involved as the Jets prepare to kick off a new era under new management with a new coach.
Craig Deans has been Newcastle's caretaker coach since October last year, when Welshman Carl Robinson walked out on a long-term contract to link with Western Sydney Wanderers.
Deans has been non-committal about the prospect of doing the job on a permanent basis, although he has been willing to fill the breach and is now in his third tenure as Newcastle's stopgap coach.
The Jets enjoyed two high-flying campaigns under van Egmond in 2006-07 and 2007-08, before they finished last the following season.
The former Socceroo then quit the Jets mid-contract to accept a position as head of the Australian Institute of Sport program, only to return to Newcastle two years later when Branko Culina was sacked.
He spent another two-and-a-half seasons at the helm before then Jets owner Nathan Tinkler wielded the axe in January, 2014.
Since then he has worked as Northern NSW Football's technical director, as assistant coach with the Matildas and, most recently, as coach of the Young Socceroos.
In total, van Egmond has coached Newcastle in 129 A-League games, for 46 wins, 32 draws and 51 defeats.
As well as overseeing their only title success, he was responsible for recruiting a host of outstanding youngsters who subsequently kicked on to bigger and better things, including James Holland, Adam Taggart, Josh Brillante and Mark Birighitti.
The Herald tried without success on Tuesday to contact van Egmond, who still lives in Newcastle. It is known he was making inquiries behind the scenes after Robinson's surprise exit.
Given the uncertainty surrounding when the Young Socceroos will be able to resume a normal competitive schedule, it is perhaps no surprise that the 55-year-old is looking at other options.
Appointing a new coach is a high priority for the consortium of A-League club owners who are funding the Jets for an indefinite period after the demise of Martin Lee, whose ongoing financial difficulties culminated in his franchise licence being terminated on Monday.
The Jets' new executive chairman, Shane Mattiske, said selecting a coach was "something we need to get to quickly". He revealed that such football decisions would be "quarantined" from the ownership group to avoid any perception of conflict of interest.
"It's an important decision that will affect the performance of the team, this season and beyond," Mattiske said. "We're putting in place appropriate governance structures to ensure that the process of selecting the right coach for the Newcastle Jets going forward is able to be done in a way where we don't give rise to any conflicts."