Newcastle Jets W-League coach Craig Deans has re-signed with the club for a further two seasons and will also now become the new Jets Academy Director too.
The move will see Deans in charge of the club’s Westfield W-League outfit until the end of the 2019/20 season and is the first multi-year W-League coaching deal in the club’s history.
Jets CEO, Lawrie McKinna said he couldn’t be happier to have Deans on board for the next two seasons.
“We always wanted to re-sign him, it was never in doubt,” McKinna said. “Of course the W-League had a stellar season, but it wasn’t just about that, it really came down to the quality of Craig’s character.
“He’s a great guy, a tireless worker and a brilliant leader for our W-League players and the talented juniors coming through our Academy system.
“When we discussed the idea of making it a two-year deal, the interest from Craig was around building the squad over that period and continuing to strive for more success.
“He’s done a tremendous job and I’m pleased we’ve got him on board for another two years.”
Deans will take over as the Academy Director from Mike Cooper, who leaves Newcastle to relocate with his family to Melbourne.
“Craig has been heavily involved in our Academy since it came under the club’s management last season,” McKinna added. “Taking on both roles makes perfect sense, with Craig already coaching our U19 women’s team.
“We’re certainly disappointed to lose Mike, he’s a fantastic operator and has been integral to establishing a strong Academy system that will service the Hunter region for many years to come.”
Deans, entering his fourth season at the helm of the Jets Westfield W-League side, has also spent time in the club’s A-League and youth coaching ranks between 2008 and 2015.
“The entire W-League staff and squad were made to feel so welcome since we first came under the management of the club – to further expand my role at the Jets is something I’m excited about,” Deans said.
“When it came to talking contracts with Lawrie, I was keen to commit longer term and build on last season.
“First and foremost I want to build a culture of success for the W-League, but this is also an opportunity to develop pathways for women’s and men’s football in the Hunter.”