Baartz: It doesn't get any bigger than this

Ray Baartz expects Friday's clash between the Jets and Wanderers to rival any occasion in Newcastle’s football history.

Newcastle football legend and Socceroos great Ray Baartz believes Friday-s showdown between the Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers at Hunter Stadium is equal in importance to any other match ever played in the region.

Baartz, who started his career playing for Adamstown Rosebuds, made 48 appearances for the Socceroos and was named one of Australia-s greatest ever footballers.

The current Newcastle Jets Advisory Board Chairman said he expected the Jets- blockbuster clash with the Wanderers to rival any occasion in Newcastle-s football history.

“I think it-s equal in importance to any game that we-ve ever played here in the past,” Baartz explained.

“Our whole season rides on this one game and I know the players appreciate that and they-re going to be up for the game.”

While the Jets need all three points to qualify for the top six, the Wanderers need at least a draw to secure the Premiers- Plate in their inaugural season.

Baartz said that both teams having so much at stake would add to the sense of theatre of Friday-s match.

“It-s going to be an exciting game obviously, especially because it-s a must-win situation for us,” he said.

“Also, with what Western Sydney have at stake and the support they-re expected to bring, it-s really a game not to be missed and we-re all looking forward to it with great anticipation.”

Friday-s match also marks the club-s Old Boys day celebrations. More than 30 former Newcastle Rosebuds, Newcastle KB United, Newcastle Breakers and Newcastle United players will be guests at the match.

The group will line the players- tunnel as both teams make their way onto the field before kick-off in the match.

“I think it-s always important to recognise the players of the past, because I think the game is only as strong as it-s history,” Baartz said.

“We respect the players who have been there and done that and we-re only too happy to have them all involved once again.”

The Jets are expecting their biggest crowd of the season for the Good Friday clash. Jets supporters are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets for the match from PROticket to secure the best seats and avoid queues on the day.

Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers Friday, March 29 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets from PROticket