Trying to answer questions about his homecoming and ambitions for the upcoming A-League season whilst doing a quick spot of food shopping Josh Mitchell went some way to dispelling the stereotype that men can't multitask.

His flow was only interrupted once: "Hang on a sec, just got to find the red onions."

The symbolism of Mitchell trying to do two things at once is appropriate for what will be expected of him in the upcoming A-League season at hometown team Newcastle Jets. The centre-back will be expected to defend, start attacks and provide leadership in a youthful Jets side. Answering questions about how he returned home whilst trawling up and down the aisles at Coles seems relatively straightforward in comparison.

"It is not easy the way Gary [van Egmond] wants us to play, it is not something that happens straight away, it is something you have to work at but I think if you do work on it and you develop this style, it makes the game more enjoyable and winning games more enjoyable."

Hard work is unlikely to be a problem for Mitchell. Whilst most of his Jets teammates enjoyed the benefits of elite youth development programs such as the Australian Institute of Sport, these were not options for Mitchell. Rather, local programs and hours of work alone in local parks in Swansea were the key ingredients of his progress as a young player.

"It just all depends on how hard you work, you might not be at the AIS but if you put extra work in training and do stuff yourself, as long as you are learning and improving that will help you in the long run.

"It would have been nice to have had those opportunities but also it was nice to have come through the local leagues and do different development stuff that wasn't at the pinnacle and that wasn't the normal way to get to the top when you are younger."

Despite not attending the country's elite programs Mitchell's career has far from suffered as a result. At 18 he made his debut for Newcastle United where he would go on to make 21 appearances in the old National Soccer League before departing for Romania where he spent four years at Universitatea Craiova. After his four years in Europe the 28-year-old returned to Australia to play two seasons with Perth Glory in the A-League but Newcastle was never far from his thoughts.

"When you are not from there you develop a soft spot for the club but at the same time I was always keeping one eye on what Newcastle were doing because they are my home town team."

Having watched from afar Mitchell is desperate to make the most of his return home.

"There is pressure, I have come back and want to be a leader a senior member of the team and someone who has a big input.

"First I need to settle in and get used to way everything works here, luckily I have worked with Gary [van Egmond] before so I have a good idea of what he is after."

Fortunately for Jets fans it should not take too long for Mitchell to get back into life in Newcastle for as the saying goes home is the where the heart is and he is desperate to prove just how much his heart beats for his hometown team.

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