With the release of Jason Hoffman Melbourne City has lost their final foundation player. Hoffman was never the first name on the teamsheet, and sometimes wasn’t even considered for that particular paperwork but you can never question the work ethic of our number 17. Hoffman leaves at a time when City is on the rise and possibly on the verge of their first silverware, Hoffman returns home to Newcastle where a very important FFA rebuild is taking place.
Hoffman polarises the football community with many questioning why he still maintains an A-League contract. There are many more talented footballers around Australia who don’t have full time or even part time gig. Hoffman spent most of his time at City as a makeshift defender; that demonstrated the type of player he is. Hoffman would always adapt to what the team needed first and continually put his personal interests aside for team balance.
Many forget Hoffman was a promising junior who represented Australia at Under 20 and 23 level, playing mainly as a striker; scoring 13 goals in his 24 appearances. You don’t see many players wearing the ‘Number 9’ shirt as an Olyroo then covering the right back position at club level.
Hoffman became the whipping boy for many frustrated City fans during the Aloisi reign and during the early stages of Van’t Schip’s second stint at the club. The criticism was like water off a ducks back for Hoffman who continually gave fans his time after the game, even when his performance hardly set the world on fire. Hoffman always had time for the fans, win lose or draw and will be fondly remembered for his fine attitude displayed as a City player.
When the FFA took over the Newcastle Jets following the demise of Nathan Tinkler the club from the onset has jumped on the front foot when it came to fan engagement. Jason Hoffman is the perfect signing for the club, not only is he a local boy but he will be very determined to rebuild his football career. A new opportunity presents itself for Hoffman and he will no longer need to be that spare parts player he was far too often at AAMI Park.
Hoffman won’t be remembered for his missed tackles or letting defenders slip past him, he will be remembered for the determination he showed when wearing the sky blue (and red and white) shirt. When we look back and remember Hoffman walking off the pitch for City he will be known for signing countless autographs for the fans after the game and the 100% effort he displayed. He wore the shirt with pride in his 80 City appearances and unlike David Villa was never in a hurry to shed the shirt he represented.
Good luck in Newcastle Jason, and thanks for the memories.Google+