A-League: Off-contract skipper keen to lead Jets revolution under Robinson

LOOKING AHEAD: Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
LOOKING AHEAD: Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NIGEL Boogaard wants to be a part of the Carl Robinson revolution at the Newcastle Jets but the veteran skipper knows he has to prove his worth before raising the prospect of a contract extension.

Boogaard, 33, has been outstanding in his three games back after a 10-game layoff with an adductor injury.

The commanding centreback has made no secret of his desire to play on next season and is excited at the future under new coach Robinson.

"I enjoy the way he plays," Boogaard said. "I had success playing that way with Josep Gombau in Adelaide - this formation and this style of football. It is enjoyable to play that again because you are in control.

"I am excited having the likes of him, having Kenny Miller here, just to be able to learn more about the game.

"I need to come back and play games, play week-in, week-out. Prove to the new gaffer that I can be injury-free, play every week and put my case forward to him. At the end of the day, I just need to do my job and make sure we are winning games, we are improving and we are keeping clean sheets.

"I still think that I have got a lot to offer both on and off the pitch and we will wait to see what happens."

Boogaard spent two seasons under Gombau in Adelaide from 2013-14 and thrived under the Spaniard's possession-based game.

The 248-game veteran is one of the better distributors from the back in the league, but believes he is far from the finished product.

"I would like a couple of yards of pace, but I think that left me in the early 20s," he said smiling.

"The day you think you can't learn anything, is when you may as well give the game away. With the new gaffer and the way he wants to play, there is so much to learn in football.

"Carl brings an intensity to each day and each training session. He demands a lot out of us. You can see he is a winner. He wants to win and I'm sure he was like that as a footballer. You can see that mentality and he is trying to instill that in the group. You can see the boys have really taken that on board.

"He is instilling things that need to be done, the smaller details you need to do every day here [at training] so when it comes to tough times on match day, you are able to revert to how you train and being able to carry that out under pressure."

The Jets are unbeaten in their past three games - one under Robinson - and on Saturday host a Melbourne Victory side backing up four days after an Asian Champions League clash in Korea.

"If you go on a run of three or four wins, all of a sudden things change," Boogaard said. "Momentum changes and you are putting pressure on teams around you. You can go from lower on the table to any where.

"I think the confidence has always been there in terms of the ability within the squad, the way we can play and what we can do. That has always been there. It is nice to be able to get results and get points off the back of that. The boys will have confidence going into the weekend."