Fitness key for Jets

Ben Kantarovski believes the Jets are arguably as fit as they have ever been heading into the 2012/13 A-League season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski believes the Jets are arguably as fit as they have ever been heading into the 2012/13 A-League season.

The 20-year-old said high fitness levels is a key component required to execute head coach Gary van Egmond-s plan to play a high-pressing game.

“It-s a major part of how Gary wants us to play and it is going to impact how our season pans out.,” he said. “It-s going to be a challenge for us to stay that fit throughout the season and try and stay injury free.

“One of the benefits of being so fit is that it will hopefully minimise the risk of us picking up injuries.”

The Jets used their improved physical attributes to good effect in their 1-0 trial match win over Brisbane Roar on Saturday, applying pressure to their champions and limiting their time and space.

“There-s that old saying that as long as they don-t score, you-ll always have a chance of winning the game,” Kantarovski said.

“I think we pride ourselves on making sure the opposition is always under pressure and they don-t have time on the ball.

“I think we showed we can do that against Brisbane by keeping a clean sheet.

“They had some chances, which may have been a little bit of lack of discipline and fatigue at the end of the match from us, but other than that I thought we did a really good job.”

Kanatarovski teamed up in midfield with Ruben Zadkovich and Jobe Wheelhouse in the win over the Roar. He said the trio were slowly building their chemistry ahead of the coming season.

“It-s been good getting that flow and understanding between each other,” he said.

“We-ve all got to know each other because we-ve been here for a couple of years now, getting together and being able to recognise different things about each other-s game.”

Kantarovski said the Jets would look to continue the promising form they showed against Brisbane when they take on Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

“It was a very good hit out against the Roar. They started with pretty much their strongest line-up, minus a few injured players,” he said.

“It was our first proper hit out against an A-League side apart from the Wellington game and it was a really good test for us that we-ve come through well.

“We-ve got another tough match against Sydney FC coming up now. They-ve got a few new signings as well, so it-ll be interesting to see how we go against them.”