Perhaps no club has felt end of season heartbreak quite like Newcastle Jets.
Perhaps no club has felt end of season heartbreak quite like Newcastle Jets this year, missing out on finals thanks to a last ditch Sydney FC comeback and then all the drama over their licence post-season it hasn-t been a happy time.
And it should have been. Gary van Egmond finally got the team playing the type of football that saw them winning games in the second half of a season which included a win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
One of five clubs in the Hyundai A-League to concede over 40 goals in season 2011/12, the Jets let in 41, hardly setting the standard for the league.
The good news was Ben Kennedy seemed to develop throughout the season into a much more confident and competent shot-stopper and saved a few penalties along the way.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley was also solid at the back, often cutting out any threats in the air and delivering good quality passes out of defence while the rise of Jacob Pepper continued throughout the season.
While it certainly wasn-t a good season for veteran midfielder Kasey Wehrman after his rather public falling out with van Egmond left him on the outer at the Jets some of their other midfielders really stepped up.
Ruben Zadkovich found some of his best form with the Jets looking to press high up the park and play the ball wide and it showed with him leading their assists with five.
Jobe Wheelhouse was his usual solid self and Socceroo in the making Ben Kantarovski continued to improve his game as all three provided good service to their forwards.
38 goals scored was the best outside the top six and the Jets were actually quite the entertainers, scoring the fourth most goals in the A-League, behind the Mariners, Roar and Glory and that was in no small part due to the efforts of Jeremy Brockie and Ryan Griffiths, the strike duo bagging nine goals each throughout the season in what was a great attacking set up.
Gary van Egmond's somewhat autocratic management style may not have always been popular but he did begin to get results.
Ultimately though missing the finals was a failure for the Hunter Valley club and not having Wehrman available may have been a mistake, no matter what thoughts he offered on the club and coach in public.
Gary van Egmond: 27 games, 10 wins, 12 losses, 5 draws; 35 points from a possible 63.
Overall Grade: C