Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has launched a stinging attack on FFA’s decision to send Hyundai A-League players to an Under-22 tournament in Oman.
Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has launched a stinging attack on Football Federation Australia’s decision to send Hyundai A-League players to an Under-22 tournament in Oman.
The Jets and Melbourne Victory had four players apiece missing from Friday night’s 1-1 draw at Hunter Stadium.
Newcastle had to make do without regular starters Adam Taggart, Josh Brilliante, Andrew Hoole and Connor Chapman, while the Victory lost Nick Ansell, Scott Galloway, Jason Geria and Connor Pain.
While the match opened up in the second half to become an exciting contest, van Egmond believes it could have been a better spectacle if both sides had their representative players available.
“I don’t think it was a high-quality game and realistically it could have been a really high-quality game with our players if they were here and their players if they were here and unfortunately that didn’t happen,” van Egmond said.
“For me it is a blight on the game for the supporters and the members who pay their money to watch the game and I don’t think it was right.”
Van Egmond, who was recently in charge of developing Australia’s best youth players at the AIS, said it would have been better for the youngsters to play in the A-League than miss three weeks of the season for a tournament that has ‘no bearing’.
“I think it could have been handled a lot easier,” van Egmond reasoned. “It should have been a development squad that goes over.”
“You can’t tell me that it is better for the young boys to go over there than it is here in the A-League where they are playing against men each week.”
A frustrated van Egmond went as far to say the Jets would review their policy of recruiting and developing young players.
“That is the irony. Us and Victory are probably the ones that have looked to try and invest as much as you can in young ones and at the end of the day Newcastle Jets Football Club have to revisit what they need to do now because if this is a reward, then it is not much of a reward,” he said.
“Western Sydney Wanderers don’t have any players in so they are not going to be hurt.”
Opposing coach Kevin Muscat said the Victory would stick by their youth policy but took a shot at the governing body for scheduling an extra mid-week game while he has players unavailable.
The Victory will host the Wanderers at AAMI Park on Tuesday night in a rescheduled fixture due to a venue clash with a Bruce Springsteen concert.
“There is a belief and a philosophy at this football club and we will adhere to that,” Muscat said.
“Instead of worrying about an insignificant tournament I will concentrate on picking a team up and trying to prepare for Tuesday night against a difficult opposition.”