‘I’m going to jump around the sideline when we score’: No more poker-faced Merrick?
Whether it is Newcastle Jets’ impressive form or a mellowing with age, Hyundai A-League fans could soon see Ernie Merrick jumping around the sidelines the next time his side scores a goal.
The Scotsman has earned himself quite a reputation for rarely showing any emotion on the bench during a match.
Whether his side is getting torn apart or dominating their opposition and scoring plenty of goals, Merrick maintains his cool, calm persona.
Think back to Riley McGree’s unbelievable ‘scorpion kick’ goal in last season’s Semi-Final or Dimitri Petratos’ pile-driver against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.
Both goals should have Merrick with a beaming smile and punching the air but pan to the bench and the Jets boss had hardly moved in his seat.
“I’ve been around for a long time. I remember going way back to when I was one of the youngest coaches, I started off as the youngest coach in the old NSL and no matter what I did I got criticised for it,” Merrick explained to www.a-league.com.au on Wednesday.
“If I laughed when we had lost a game or whatever…so I finished off getting this game face.
“If I’m honest with you, I don’t really like it myself. I’m trying to change it.
“I’m working on getting a big smile going and jumping around the sidelines when we score from now on.”
That would have been the understandable reaction on Saturday night after Petratos’ injury-time stunner.
Not only was it a fantastic strike which scorched into the top corner of the net, it sealed a vital 2-0 win over champions Melbourne Victory.
But while Jets fans and coaching staff were going berserk around him, Merrick remained seated and stony-faced.
“I’m smiling inside,” he assures www.a-league.com.au.
“It was a terrific goal. I was actually a bit annoyed at [Petratos], if he’d done that about 25 minutes earlier when he should have scored I could relax a bit more.
“He left it until the last minute. I think he did that deliberately just to annoy me.”