It’s one of the matches which any Jets fan will have circled on their draw from the get-go: the F3 Derby.
The original Hyundai A-League derby, it’s a fixture which has seen the lot: goals, red cards, trophies won and lost, controversy, and everything in between.
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Here are five talking points ahead of Sunday’s huge clash at Gosford.
Irishman back in the fray
Every F3 Derby throws up a narrative of it’s own, but the story of particular fixture is especially tasty – Roy O’Donovan is back.
The former Mariners man won over Newcastle hearts with nine goals last season, before a stiff ban following his red card in last season’s Hyundai A-League decider.
With a ten-game suspension now in the rear-view mirror, O’Donovan is finally preparing with the weekend firmly in mind.
Given what the attacker has been showing down on the training paddock, Roy’s return has all the ingredients of a perfect Christmas present for Jets fans.
Derby dominance decisive?
Who could forget our three encounters with the Mariners last season?
We kick-started the season with that fantastic 5-1 win in Gosford, backed it up with a solid 2-0 victory at home in January, before the 8-2 drubbing back on the Central Coast in April.
It means we went three from three last season with an aggregate scoreline of 15-3. It's form which bodes well for Newcastle.
Familiar faces fight it out
Despite the fierce rivalry between the Jets and the Mariners, there are a couple of players in each side who have turned out for the other.
Among the ranks at the Mariners are Newcastle locals, Andrew Hoole and Ben Kennedy, who between them played more than 150 times for the Jets.
Mario Shabow, who spent last season in Newcastle, is another.
That’s not to ignore the former Mariners men currently plying their trade in Jets colours: the captain, Nigel Boogaard, Roy O’Donovan, and Mitch Austin.
Travelling support crucial
The last time the Jets travelled south on the M1 Motorway to Gosford, we filled four bays and drowned out any noise the Mariners might have made.
It felt like a Jets home game, and this weekend the boys are hoping that the Newcastle faithful can make the journey once again and be the side’s 12th man.
With the reciprocal membership offer ensuring the first 4,000 full-Jets Members through the gate will get in free and Sid Fogg’s Buses operating a special offer for all supporters, it's a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get to Gosford and help the boys snag the three points.
First leg of the draw complete
At full-time of Sunday’s match, the Jets will have faced off against every Hyundai A-League team in the 2018/19 season.
It’s a fantastic opportunity for Newcastle to pick up their third league win of the season and sit inside the top six prior to Christmas.
With 18 rounds to play after this weekend, anything’s possible and the Jets will be looking to take all three points on Sunday and build on the win for the remainder of the season.