Fresh start for Jets

The word ‘different’ gets thrown up a lot in conversation with Newcastle captain Michael Bridges.

The word ‘different’ gets thrown up a lot in conversation with Newcastle captain Michael Bridges.

The former England under-21 international’s role will be different, as will the style of football the Jets play.

And there’s a different feel within the team following the addition of Kasey Wehrman, Jeremy Brockie and Ruben Zadkovich.

“We’ve made some great new signings. They’ve really added to the squad,” Bridges said.

“We needed that because when we had injuries last season and we didn-t have players being able to come in and add to our back up. We just ran out of numbers in the end.”

“With the players we brought in we’ve got a lot more legs and a lot more football.”

“We have greater depth but it’s more the quality we’ve brought in.”

Former Socceroo Wehrman tops that list.

The 32-year-old is back in the A-League after eight years in the Norwegian Tippeligaen.

Bridges admitted he had never heard of Wehrman before this year but has been blown away with what he’s been producing in the pre-season.

“I didn’t know much about him to be honest and that’s no disrespect to Kasey,” Bridges started.

“But back in his younger days he was regarded as one of the finest in Australia and I can see why.”

“He’s come back and he’s been a pleasure to play alongside.”

“His passing and aggression and whole demeanour…he’s got the whole package.”

The arrival of Wehrman, former Sydney FC rookie Zadkovich and New Zealand international Brockie will help ease the pressure on Bridges.

No longer will the experienced striker be the Jets epicentre, with coach Branko Culina allowing him the freedom to roam and impose himself on games where he sees fit.

“I’ve got a free role to go and drift to wherever I want, a bit like how Steve Corica played at Sydney,” Bridges explained.

“I don’t want to give too much away but it will be something different and I welcome it with open arms.”

“I’m not as quick as I used to be but we’ve got the legs around me. If you’ve got a central figure around like me or a Stevie Corica, things can work well.”

“I think you guys will see a different style of play from us this season. Last season we were a bit one dimensional with the long ball up to myself scrapping for bits.”

“We’ve been working on keeping the football and not being too eager to try and break teams down.”

“I’m confident you will see a different Newcastle United to the one you’ve been used to.”

The Jets, who bowed out of last year’s competition in the second week of the finals, kick off their 2010/11 campaign against wooden spooners Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.