Emile Heskey says he is looking forward to experiencing his first F3 Derby at Hunter Stadium on Saturday evening.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets striker Emile Heskey says he is looking forward to experiencing his first F3 Derby when the Jets take on the Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium on Saturday evening.
During his time in English Premier League, Heskey played for Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby and also featured for both Aston Villa and Birmingham in the Second City Derby.
The former England striker said he-s interested to see how a derby match on the other side of the world compares.
“Derbies are big, not only for the players, but the whole town and the whole city and I-m looking forward to it,” Heskey said.
“Obviously the boys have told me that it-s a fierce rivalry, as all derbies are.
“Each team thinks they-re better than the other one so we all want to get one up over the opposing team and that-s what we-ll be looking to do.
"I-m gaining fitness everyday. The lads are helping me get around the town as well getting to know different places and different sites.
"We-re just trying to work on things in training and try and take it onto the field because that-s the main place to put it together."
Heskey said the Jets would be looking to repay the faith of the Club-s Members and supporters who are likely to turn up in big numbers to Saturday-s game.
Pre-sales for the match have been encouraging, and a crowd of more than 16,000 is expected to attend fixture. Jets Members and supporters are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets and arrive early to avoid queues.
“It was a bit disappointing the first game of the season at home not getting a goal or the win, but I thought we played well. We passed the ball around well and kept it well, even with 10 men,” Heskey said.
“We were looking just to take the positives out of that into the next game and we were able to do that.
“We really put Sydney on the back foot right from the beginning. Maybe in the second half we stepped back a little bit, but it was a great start for us.
“The home fans are why you want to be playing, you want to be putting in good performances for them.”
Heskey said he had be impressed with what he had seen and experienced of the A-League so far.
“Football is football, it-s played everywhere at different standards. It-s a high standard (in Australia) and the fitness levels here are up there with the best of them,” he said.
“It-s difficult to compare it to the Premier League or other English leagues because they-ve been going on for so many years. The A-League has only just started up, but it-s a good standard.”
This season mark five years since the Jets defeated the Mariners in the 2008 Grand Final to win their first A-League Championship.
The Jets will be marking the anniversary prior to kick-off when the Westpac Rescue Helicopter delivers the A-League Championship trophy to the field, accompanied by Newcastle football legends Andy Roberts and Cheryl Salisbury.
Parking information for the match can be found by clicking HERE.
Match Details: F3 Derby Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Hunter Stadium Saturday, October 20 Kick-off at 5.30pm (gates open 4.30pm) Tickets from PROticket
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