Manawatu Jets Aiming to Fly Again

After a successful 2018 campaign, the Manawatu Jets are enthusiastic about returning to the NBL for the 2019 season.

“First and foremost, we’d like to thank our sponsors, supporters, head coach, manager, assistant coaches and every single fan that came out and supported the guys.  What Coach Tim did was fantastic – winning 3 games, almost beating Nelson and Wellington is not something to bat an eye at.  Thanks to everyone in the Manawatu and Whanganui for standing beside us, believing in us and filling the gym,” said Jen Young, Jets Operations Manager.

The Jets board is hard at work finishing off the 2018 season and shaping the 2019 model.  With some recent NCAA rule changes, it looks like the local youth talent pool will be smaller than this year, something the Jets will try to alleviate by using Manawatu locals with previous NBL experience in 2019.

“Since the end of the season, our small team has been working hard to ensure the review process for 2018 is sound and complete.  We’re very proud of what we have achieved.  Effectively, we had a small operational surplus, which allowed us to keep up with our debt repayment obligations,” said director, Dave Craig.

“Our 2018 budget was literally a quarter of what it cost the Jets to operate in the past.  What we achieved this year shows that it’s possible to run on a smaller budget while focusing on youth pathways and development.  Our head coach did a great job of balancing the pressure of the NBL with some very, very young players,” continued Craig.

“We plan to be back in the NBL next season.  In a few weeks time, we will be attending an NBL meeting in Wellington and will be asking for an extension of our license.  Recent conversations with the NBL and BBNZ have made us feel comfortable that we will be granted the extension,” added Craig.

The process for 2019 began three week ago.  The Jets board has been meeting weekly for the past 24 months and moving forward will be no different.  “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done now to build a solid foundation for 2019,” says Craig.   “We’ll take what we learned this year and try to turn that into bigger success for next season.  But, it won’t be easy.  We’ll be looking to the community for more help, both operationally and from the board table.  Jen, our Operations Manager, has been a critical part of the team and with her hitting the ground within the next few weeks, we’re confident we will be ahead of the game for next season.”

The Manawatu Jets have a core group of volunteers, sponsors and stakeholders and the franchise realizes that without their support, there wouldn’t have been a team this year.

“We’d like to thank everyone, specifically Go Media, Property Brokers, McDonald’s Manawatu, Courtesy Ford, UCOL, InspireNet, Breakers Restaurants, Basketball Manawatu, MoreFM and Mediaworks and our mayor, Grant Smith.  Their help, not only financially, has been tremendous.  Our community model really stacked up this year, everyone helping everyone,” said Craig.

If anyone wants to support the Jets in 2019, send an email to Jen, jen@thejets.co.nz or go to the website www.thejets.co.nz and click Contact