Steele hits the ground running

Newcastle Jets’ midfield recruit Jonny Steele says he is looking forward to embracing a new challenge this coming A-League season.

The 28-year-old Northern Ireland international arrived in Newcastle from New York on Sunday before joining his new teammates for training at the beginning of the week.

“I’m excited to be here, excited to get around the guys and meet new faces and get ready for the season,” Steele said.

“They’re all good guys here, the young guys seem like they’re willing to learn, so I feel like I can come in and they can learn from me and see what I bring to the team.

“Hopefully everyone’s on the same page going into the season and we can set goals to make the playoffs and hopefully with the Championship.”

Steele said the decision to join the Jets after more than a decade of plying his trade in the United States was made in order to give himself a new challenge.

“I had a few offers from around Australia, but talking to David Carney, Tim Cahill and then Phil (Stubbins) and Robbie (Middleby) I decided to come to Newcastle,” Steele said.

“They showed what they’re going to build here and what they want for the future of this Club and I wanted to be a part of it.

“I’d been in America 10 years and I was in England when I was younger, so I just wanted a new challenge and clean slate.

“I’m 28 years old, I feel like I’m hitting my prime, so why not go somewhere new and try to achieve something.

“They say the standard is up with the MLS and being around the guys here, you can see the fitness of them.

“It’s only pre-season and they’re going to get better and better as well.”

Steele said playing alongside the likes of Tim Cahill, Juninho and Thierry Henry at the New York Red Bulls had helped him develop and improve as a footballer.

“I learnt professionalism and how to look after yourself on a daily basis and what you give on a daily basis,” Steele said.

“I’ve played with some good players in the MLS and it’s about setting high standards for your teammates and yourself.

“If you go in everyday working your socks off, you’ll only get better.”

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