A-League: Chris Bowling joins Newcastle Jets in coaching role

FLYING HIGH: Former Broadmeadow Magic gloveman Chris Bowling has joined the Jets as interim goalkeeper coach. Picture: Peter Stoop
FLYING HIGH: Former Broadmeadow Magic gloveman Chris Bowling has joined the Jets as interim goalkeeper coach. Picture: Peter Stoop

CHRIS Bowling was on the coaching staff that helped steer the Matildas to a historic victory in the Tournament of Nations in the US last week.

Now the goalkeeper coach is lending a hand at the Newcastle Jets.

Bowling, 40, took Jets’ glovemen Jack Duncan and Glen Moss at training on Friday and has been appointed interim coach with a view to filling the position full-time.

The Jets have been without a goalkeeper coach since Jess Vanstrattan departed to Melbourne City a fortnight ago.

“I am very passionate about goalkeeping and Newcastle so it’s the perfect fit for me,” Bowling said. “The keepers were first-class today with regards to taking me on board. Their application and willingness to implement things was top shelf.”

Bowling will travel with the squad to Port Macquarie and Tamworth next week.

“That gives us a chance to see if we are a good  fit,” Bowling said. “Ernie has to like what he sees. It will be a chance to spend a bit of time with the boys and see how it goes.”

Bowling’s role with the Matildas is predominantly video analysis.

“They have a keeper coach but I do get an opportunity to get on the park and help out,” he said. “I also do pre-match presentations and other things. I have a hands-on role in a lot of areas.”

Since joining the Matildas 18-months ago, Bowling has been to the Asian Championships in Japan, the Rio Olympics, Algarve Cup in Portugual and Tournament of Nations in the US.

“It has been massive,” he said. “Getting a chance to do what I love and see the world. The trip to America was amazing for the team and there is still room for improvement.”

As well as work with the Matildas, Bowling has been a goalkeeper and assistant coach for the Jets’ W-league team for four years and also heads up the Emerging Jets goalkeeper program. 

He is an accredited Level II coach and is enrolled for the Level III course.

“He is in for a few weeks and we will see how it goes,” Jets chief executive said. “It is a good opportunity for him as well as us. “

Before turning his hand to coaching in 2014, Bowling was one of Northern NSW’s premier keepers.

A Toronto junior, he spent more than a decade at the Stags, before stints at South Cardiff, Valentine and Broadmeadow.

In three years at Magic, he won two grand finals, two State Cups, a minor premiership and progressed to the round of 32 in the FFA Cup.

Meanwhile, McKinna said talks were progressing with two attacking midfielders from overseas.

However, the search for a Chinese player is proving problematic.

Winger Zhu Zhengyu returned to his homeland last week after an unsuccessful trial.

“He was not good enough and it is not worth bringing a player here who won’t play,” McKinna said.

“We will look to get another player out for a trial. If we can’t find a suitable player, we will have a look again in January.”