DISCARDED home-grown players Taylor Regan and James Virgili have welcomed Football Federation Australia's takeover of the Jets and are hopeful it could lead to a second chance for them at the club.
Jets coach Phil Stubbins cut Regan and Virgili on April 28, sparking an outcry from many supporters.
Regan, 26, captained the side after the mid-season sacking of five senior players and was named the members club player of the year.
Virgili, 22, started and was among the Jets’ best in rounds 11 to 14 before a training-ground accident left him with a season-ending broken ankle.
Both were gutted at the decisions, especially given Regan was assured he would be given a deal and Virgili made multiple attempts while sidelined to gain clarity on his future with the club.
Both are yet to make a commitment for next season and hope this week’s event at the Jets could open the door for a return, especially given Stubbins, who presided over just three wins in 27 games, is unlikely to remain coach.
Regan, who is getting married this weekend, said he was looking home and abroad for a new club but was open to a return at the Jets.
‘‘Now that this has officially happened and I haven’t made a decision as to what I’m going to do yet, that potentially could become an option,’’ Regan said.
‘‘Again, I love Newcastle and I’d love to be at the club, but that’s a decision obviously for the FFA or the coach, or Phil. It depends.
‘‘Obviously it was Phil who probably made the decision to get rid of me.
‘‘Whilst he’s here, I guess I won’t be.
‘‘We’ll wait and see, but certainly if a door was open and an opportunity arose back here with the club, I’d certainly look at it.
‘‘I’d love to be a one-club person and Newcastle is my home.’’
Virgili has been linked with a move to Western Sydney Wanderers but said he had nothing ‘‘concrete’’ in place for next season and his preference was to play for Newcastle.
‘‘I didn’t want to leave here in the first place, so if the opportunity does come to have another chance to stay here in Newcastle, then I’d love to have it,’’ Virgili said.
‘‘I guess that depends on who the FFA decides to appoint coach.
‘‘A few weeks ago I was told I wasn’t going to be signed again so I thought my chances were 100 per cent gone of playing here next season, but with what’s happened, it does give us a glimmer of hope.’’
Virgili said he might even hold off on his next move to keep hopes of a new deal at the Jets alive.
‘‘I’m in limbo at the moment now anyway, but depending on how long it took, I might try and drag it out a bit more to see if something does eventuate here,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m basically taking each day as it comes.
‘‘You never know what can happen in football.’’
As for the Jets, Virgili said FFA’s intervention would be a ‘‘breath of fresh air’’ at the club.
‘‘In the past, the FFA has taken over clubs and those clubs have done well under their ownership,’’ he said.
‘‘It could turn out to be a good thing for the club.
‘‘They are going to make the right decisions and they won’t jump into anything.’’
Regan was confident the Jets had a bright future, especially after speaking with former Jets teammate and Wanderers striker Labinot Haliti on Friday about FFA’s tenure in charge of Western Sydney.
‘‘I was giving me a run down on how FFA did things when they were in control of Western Sydney and it sounded very positive,’’ Regan said. ‘‘He was very confident that Newcastle will return to being what they should be, and that’s being strong in the A-League.’’