Breast cancer fundraiser brings Jets together

Kew Jaliens believes the Jets’ mid-week head shave fundraiser has doubled as a valuable team bonding exercise.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Kew Jaliens believes the Jets- mid-week head shave fundraiser has doubled as a valuable team bonding exercise in the lead up to Saturday-s clash with Melbourne Heart at Hunter Stadium.

Jets players and staff shaved their heads on Tuesday morning to support one of the Club-s longest serving players Ben Kennedy, as he raises funds and awareness for breast cancer this week.

Ben's mother Karen, is currently receiving treatment for a breast cancer recurrence.

Jaliens said that as well as raising valuable funds for Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation, the exercise had the added bonus of building camaraderie amongst the Jets squad.

“At first it was only a few boys who were supposed to be doing it, but in the end it grew to kind of a group process where we said if my mate is doing it, I-m doing it with my mate and for my mate,” Jaliens said.

“Through this you can see the team growing and building and getting together.”

Anyone looking to donate to HBCF can do so by CLICKING HERE.

Jaliens said the Jets would enter Saturday-s clash with the in-form Heart with plenty of confidence after notching a 2-0 win over second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend.

“I think it was a team performance against Western Sydney, everybody was sharp, everybody wanted to win and gave a 100 per cent,” Jaliens said.

“You also need a little bit of luck, but I think from the first second we were on top of Western Sydney and we didn-t allow them to play, which is their great strength and we took that away from them.

“The atmosphere has been good, last week gave us confidence to keep this form and to keep going and as a team we want to make the first six, so to do that, we have to win on Saturday.

“Melbourne Heart played some good matches, but also on the flip side I see some weak points and this is where we have to strike tomorrow.

“I think in transition, they leave a lot of space in the midfield and if we can stay as tight as we were last week, in transition is where we can win the game.”

Jaliens said he was enjoying playing alongside his new centre-back partner Josh Mitchell, with the pair keeping clean sheets in their last two outings together.

“It-s been very good. Josh is experienced as well, we do a lot of talking and we match up well,” Jaliens said.

“Josh is a left-footer, which means I can play on the right, where I used to play so that makes it a little bit easier for me.

“I think the games we-ve played together, we-ve played well.”

Jaliens said he was also looking forward to matching up against his childhood friend and fellow former Dutch international Orlando Engelaar.

“He-s from our neighbourhood, so I know him from our youth and I know the qualities he has,” Jalien said.

“The times when we played outside growing up… just pick up games in the neighbourhood and that-s where we used to always meet with our buddies.

“One of his qualities is he-s big, but he-s also got quick feet and great technique, so that-s what makes him difficult to compete against.

“He is a good player and I-m looking forward to seeing him tomorrow again, only tomorrow I want the three points.”

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart Saturday, March 8 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets available from PROticket.