Josh Brillante will be looking to make up for lost time when the Jets face the Central Coast Mariners in Tamworth on Sunday.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder Josh Brillante will be looking to make up for lost time when the Jets face the Central Coast Mariners in a pre-season trial match at Scully Park in Tamworth on Sunday.
Brillante fractured his nose during Newcastle-s 3-0 trial match win over Sydney Olympic a fortnight ago and was consequently ruled out of the Jets- following trial matches against Hyundai A-League opponents Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory.
The 20-year-old returned to full contact training this week and will be available for selection when the Jets take on Central Coast Mariners at Scully Park in Tamworth.
“I went and saw the specialist last week and he-s given me clearance to train and play, so that-s a bit of relief for me, and I-m happy to be back,” Brillante said.
“When it first happened, my concern was how long I-d be out for, so when I found out it would only keep me out for a week or so, I was pretty happy, especially with the start of the season being so close.”
With competition for spots in the Jets- starting XI as fierce as ever, Brillante admitted that the timing his injury enforced lay-off was less than ideal.
However the Young Socceroo said he was determined to make up for lost time against the Mariners this weekend.
“I was a bit disappointed not to play in those friendly games,” Brillante said.
“Sydney and Melbourne are two good quality sides and it would have been good to get some game time against them leading up to the season.
“Hopefully, I-ll be able to play a part against the Central Coast this weekend to get some of that match practice under my belt.”
Brillante said he expected Sunday-s trial match to be fiercely contested between the old foes, despite no competition points being up for grabs.
“It is a pre-season friendly, but at the end of the day, when you-re playing in a derby game like this both teams will be doing everything they can to win the game, so hopefully that result goes in our favour,” Brillante said.
“They-re the defending Champions and a top quality side, so it will be a good judgement of where we-re at in the lead up to the season, so we-re really looking forward to it.
“They-ve got some really creative players with good feet, so it will be a tough challenge.
“McGlinchey is a classy player and it was always tough playing against Flores while he was at the Victory.
“Hopefully If I get the chance to play in the midfield I-ll be able to mark those guys and get an idea of where I-m at as well.”
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Sunday, September 29 Scully Park, Tamworth Kick-off 2pm Tickets available HERE