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As the club's former academy director, Jets coach Craig Deans is expected to bring young local talent through to the A-League side.
But they have to earn it, which is why Deans was thrilled to give 16-year-old Archie Goodwin an A-League debut on Sunday, just after another academy product, Angus Thurgate, scored the match-winner in a 1-0 triumph over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.
While Thurgate has established himself as a regular starter in midfield this season, the injection of Goodwin in the 86th minute caught many by surprise.
The striker showed why he was given a shot when he sprinted clear for a one-on-one opportunity in injury time, only to hit the chance wide.
Deans, though, was glad to see another Jets academy product earn their chance and he believed Goodwin's speed could be used again off the bench this season.
"Archie's been training with the team since we came back from COVID last year," Deans said on Monday.
"I brought him in from the academy because the coaches were overseas and we needed the numbers.
"I'd seen him at academy training and games obviously, and he showed me something that I thought was interesting.
"He's training well, he's got some speed. I mean, he was on the park for 10 minutes and had probably the clearest chance of the game, just through his speed. And also he's very aggressive and single-minded towards being a goalscorer, which is a nice attribute.
"He absolutely deserved his chance. He should have scored a goal, and he knows that, but he'll learn a lot from that. It's a tough place to go to make your debut."
Deans has also given another academy product, Blake Archbold, two chances off the bench this season and he hoped more would rise to the challenge.
"There's other kids in the academy that have got the same potential as [Goodwin] and same potential as Gus, and it's up to them now," he said.
"If there's a player from outside of Newcastle and they are the same quality as the one at Newcastle, then you go for the Newcastle player.
"That's the logical way and you've just got to back yourself to do it and back them to be good enough.
"Obviously with my background, I know all those kids and part of me coming into this job was to try and get some of them through, but they need to earn it.
"Yesterday the opportunity that Gus and Archie have taken for themselves is through hard work.
"A lot of kids underestimate how hard you have to work to make it.
"It's not just about how talented you are, it's about how hard you work and how much sacrifice you are prepared to make, and I think Gus and Archie are very good examples of that."
Goodwin, a former Cooks Hill junior, has been a prolific scorer at age level.
He scored 29 goals in 12 matches for the Jets under-15s side in the under-16 Northern NSW NPL competition in 2019.
"You've got to pick them at the right time," Deans said.
"Archie is 16 but I think he's got the mental attributes to cope with football at the moment and we work with with him everyday on little things.
"We've got some good people around him and some good senior players around, so it's a nice environment to bring him in.
"He's still got a lot to learn in terms of the tactical side of the game and there's some technical issues to work through with him, but if it's a game like Melbourne Victory game, then he's worth taking the risk on the bench."
Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard, who debuted in the national league with the Newcastle Breakers as a 17-year-old, said it was great to see young talent coming out of the region.
"You want to see the local boys develop and kick on," Boogaard said.
"I think the way COVID has panned out, there's a lot more opportunities for younger players.
"We've got a big mix of younger players from all around the country but it's nice to see Angus, from up the road, doing well and Archie coming on, and he could have been the hero.
"We might have given it to him a little bit in the changeroom after, but he's got his head screwed on and he's got a bright future as well.
"Hopefully we can see more and more boys develop through the academy."
Deans, Boogaard and Jets executive chairman Shane Mattiske were at McDonald Jones Stadium on Monday to officially announce a doubler-header there on March 21. Wellington play Brisbane and Newcastle take on Adelaide. It is the first time an A-League double-header has been held at the ground and it's the first in the competition for more than a decade.
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