Jason Hoffman of the Newcastle Jets sets sights on Grand Final trophy

Even if you are not a soccer fan, just about the entire Catholic schools community will be hoping former student Jason Hoffman, player for the Newcastle Jets, will lift the trophy at this weekend’s Grand Final when his team take on Melbourne Victory.

Jason, who attended St Columban’s Primary School, Mayfield, San Clemente High School, Mayfield and St Francis Xavier College, Hamilton is arguably our most famous soccer-playing former student.

His winning goal in last week’s semi-final against his former club Melbourne City has kept alive his hope of a repeat of the 2007-2008 Grand Final when he was part of the Jets team that beat Central Coast 1-0 to win the Newcastle club’s only ever championship trophy.

In that game, as a 19-year-old, he started on the reserve bench before coming on for the last 15 minutes.

Given he had joined the Jets in 2007 and having made his professional debut on 2 September 2007, playing in and winning a first-up final at such an early stage of his career was a remarkable achievement.

Jason is now the only player from that final who is still with the Newcastle Jets.

He actually returned to Newcastle, where he was born and bred, after playing for Melbourne Heart (from 2010 to 2011) and Melbourne City (from  2011 to 2015).

Jason played finals football with both these Melbourne teams before returning to the Jets in 2015.

Tony Kelly, who was Jason’s Principal at St Clemente from Year 7 to 10, remembers his former student well.

“He was a fine young student who has grown into an absolute gentleman with wonderful family values.

“Like many Novocastrians who know Jason (but weren’t able to get a ticket for the sold-out Grand Final), I will be glued to the TV come Saturday night,” says Tony, now Assistant Director at the Catholic Schools Office.

If the Jets do lift the trophy, it will cap an amazing turnaround from last season when they were wooden spooners – an unwanted outcome given the Jets had finished in last place in two of the previous A-league seasons !

Go Jets !!

image source: AAP via Newcastle Herald

John Kingsley-Jones Image
John Kingsley-Jones

John Kingsley-Jones was the Head of Diocesan Communications from September 2017 to July 2019.