The Jets' 2018/19 Hyundai A-League Pre-season kicks off

It’s affectionately known as the ‘longest pre-season in world sport’ and Ernie Merrick will be making the most of it with a busy schedule in the lead up to the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season.
 
The Jets will return for their first official session of the pre-season on Friday 29 June.
 
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said that this pre-season would set the tone for another big year on the pitch.
 
“I’m looking forward to getting the group back together, we’ve developed a diverse program that will give us plenty of opportunity to focus on the season ahead,” Merrick said.
 
“We had a small group of our younger players return last week to take up some optional, extra sessions which just illustrates the level of commitment from the entire group to another big season.
 
“Our senior boys will be back and refreshed after a few extra days off and we can all begin working on the way we want to play this season.
 
“We’re lucky in the respect that most of the group has had a full season together with 20 players returning from 2017/18 – including 10 of our Grand Final starting XI – and they’re all well acquainted with our attacking mindset.
 
“It will certainly be tough, but that will put the entire squad in good stead for the rigours of the (Hyundai) A-League.”
 
There will be a distinct international flavour to the early stages of the 2018 Grand Finalist’s training schedule, with trips to China and Spain during July and August.
 
The club’s annual Jets:Tour fuelled by Greater Bank will be going ahead once again, with the players set to head up the coast and into Northern New South Wales for training, clinics and a game against a regional select side.
 
An announcement on the 2018 FFA Cup schedule is also imminent and will prove a vital piece in the pre-season jigsaw.
 
Merrick added that the addition of some international opposition as part of the season’s build up was a positive one.
 
“The opportunity to play against two Chinese Super League teams will be a great experience for the young players we’re taking across,” Merrick added.
 
“Then the entire playing group will head to Spain for what will be an intensive training camp, which will see them return in great condition for our first FFA Cup fixture and other friendlies.” 

The Jets will play a range of friendly games against (Hyundai) A-League opposition through their 2018/19 preparations with match details and locations to be confirmed.
 
“During pre-season I like to get as many opportunities to play (Hyundai) A-League opposition as possible and we’ve got a number of games lined up already,” Merrick said.
 
Free Trade Port Super Champions Cup, China
The invitational tournament will see the Jets take on Beijing Goan, Shanghai Shenhua and Sydney FC in the city of Haikoi in China’s Hainan Province.
 
Jets:Tour fuelled by Greater Bank, Northern New South Wales
The club’s annual pilgrimage up the coast of Northern New South Wales is on again in July! Details of the tour are currently being finalised and will be announced in the coming weeks.
 
Genova International Soccer School (GISS) Tour, Spain
In a Hyundai A-League first, the Jets will be heading to Spain for an intensive training camp at the Genova International Soccer School in Murcia. The club will play three friendly games against the likes of Elche FC, Gatafe CF and Real Murcia.
 
FFA Cup
The Round of 32 Draw will be held on Tuesday 26 June to confirm the Jets’ opponent in the knockout tournament, with match details will be provided as soon as they’re available.