Chapman ready for starting role

Connor Chapman is in line to make his return to the Jets starting side against Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Connor Chapman is in line to make his return to the Jets starting side against Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.

After missing the Jets- three previous matches with an ankle injury, Chapman was used as a second-half substitute in the Jets- loss to Melbourne Victory last weekend.

The suspension of Taylor Regan in that match means Chapman is likely to get the opportunity to come back into the Jets starting side for Friday-s clash with Perth.

“I-m really looking forward to the game on the weekend and if I do start it will be my first starting appearance since I-ve been back, which is something I-ve been waiting for since I got injured,” Chapman said.

“Thanks to our physio Rob Dingle, I was back a lot quicker than most other ankle injuries and it was feeling very strong on the weekend, so that-s a good sign.

“This game is a very big game, not only for me but the whole team.

“I-m looking to cement my spot again and for this weekend, all I can do is work hard for the team and with team success, hopefully my own success will come with that.”

Chapman said the Jets had been quick to put last Sunday-s disappointing result behind them.

“Obviously it was a bit disappointing losing 5-0 on the weekend,” Chapman said.

“I think for all the boys it-s good to have a quick turnaround to try and get that out of our system.

“I don-t think you can focus too much on a loss, it-s more about trying to get past it and look forward to the next game.

“It-s a home game and we-re still three games out from the finals and of course anything is possible in the A-League.

“But I think we-ve got a very good side here, we-ve got a lot of depth and if we got out there and play how we can play, we-ll have no problems.”

While some have questioned the ability of the Jets- young squad to handle a pressure-packed race for a finals spot, Chapman said he had full confidence that he and his teammates are up to the task.

“Obviously it was a young side on the weekend and it was a tough test against a very strong Melbourne side,” Chapman said.

“You can be 19 or 31, but basically the best players are (going to be) playing. I think for this weekend if we all go out there and play our best we should be able to win.”

The 18-year-old pointed to the experience gained by himself and the likes of Adam Taggart, Josh Brillante and Mitch Cooper while playing for the Young Socceroos as an example of their ability to thrive in pressure situations.

“We played a lot of tough games going away to Asia and trying to qualify for World Cups, “ he explained.

“One of the biggest games of our lives was trying to qualify in that quarterfinal (at the AFC U-19 Championships).

“If you can-t handle the pressure then I don-t think you can be a footballer. Pressure just comes with the game and you have to handle it.”

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory Friday, March 8 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 7.30pm Tickets from PROticket.

PCYC Newcastle is being supported at this week's Jets game against the Perth Glory.

The charity box and 20 reserved seating tickets have been donated to PCYC as a reward for participants in their young offender program.

The program aims to give these youngsters a second chance, and, Senior Constable Brendan Haile will be speaking pre-game about the PCYC and its many, vital community programs.