Papas has always been an innovator of sorts. He was the youngest ever Victorian NPL coach to win the competition's Coach of the Year.

He started coaching courses at just 16, and head coaching in the NPL at 30-years-old. At this level, his knack for developing youth saw Oakleigh Cannons and Green Gully become league forces and FFA Cup giant killers.

He had a very short role at Newcastle Jets in 2011, but with a serious lack of A-League or any professional coaching opportunities available, Papas then became a pioneer of young Australian coaches moving to Asia, to seek opportunities abroad.

He played a key role in the restructuring of Indian football in five separate spells across the country, introducing a high-pressure, aggressive philosophy with the nation's U/23 side that earned him significant plaudits across Asia.

He's since specialised in talent development - working with programs across Belgium, Japan and the USA - to teach coaches how to restructure their development.

After signing a two-year deal with the Jets that gives him time to mould the squad and Jets staff, Papas revealed he's in the midst of making several changes. In addition to several new signings, Papas is also replacing members of the backroom staff with his own people, with the intention of changing the club's entire approach to youth development.

"There will be some really exciting signings in the next few days," Papas told The Global Game podcast.

"We've been working really hard to bring in the kind of players that can play the style of football I want.

"There have been some changes [to backroom staff] and they're not announced yet. One of the ideas was to bring a coach heavy model, because having had those experiences overseas, there are so many different ways you can structure your high performance and analysis.

"The approach I like to take is a coach heavy model, where players really get a lot of attention on the field. There can be four or five coaches on the field, which means we can split up into groups and we can work on individuals as well.

"[The club is] probably going to have a younger feel to it as well. These guys have a personal ambition as well as a collective ambition for the team.

"We need to provide a platform for them to get the best out of their careers, the ones they're aspiring to as well."

It's this reputation for aggressive tactics and a focus on player development that eventually found Papas working alongside Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama, where he says he refined his style.

While A-League clubs have been slowly shifting towards valuing NPL coaching experience, without Yokohama on Papas' resume, it's highly unlikely he would have received the role.

Papas compares his coaching style to a finishing school, that can take talented youth and turn them into world-class attacking footballers.

After Newcastle released nine players and Lawrie McKinna resigned, this is what the 41-year-old will hope to achieve with a fresh opportunity, including new signings and re-signings, like Cameron Devlin and Jordan O'Doherty.

"Working with Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama, and then with my own team at Kagoshima, added layers to my game," Papas continued.

"I bring myself [to the team]: a very aggressive high intensity style that I've developed, which some people have described as a finishing school.

"Signing Cameron [Devlin] is a great start. He's one player that's really stood out. There's such a high ceiling to where he can go.

"It's a long time ago that I was here - nearly 10 years now - I just had a great feeling about the place. If you get a team that at least excites the fans and puts them on the end of their seats, they'll come back in droves.

"The beauty of the A-League is you get these really long offseasons, as opposed to Japan where you have two weeks off and then you're working for 11 months straight.

"The decisions are not easy when you step into the role, some of those boys have made their own decisions. With everything, you have to be planning in advance with what's possible.

"There will be some changes. We've had very good conversations with the owners about where we can go and they're ambitious as well. It's a different organisational structure. They want to see the club improve."


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