Jets all set to face Sky Blues

Gary van Egmond expects both the Jets and Sydney FC to keep their cards close to their chest in Saturday's trial match at WIN Stadium.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond expects both the Jets and Sydney FC to keep their cards close to their chest when they meet in a pre-season trial match at WIN Stadium in Wollongong this afternoon.

With the two sides set the face-off in the A-League season opener at Allianz Stadium on October 11, van Egmond said he expects a small element of smoke and mirrors from both teams in tomorrow-s pre-season fixture.

“I think both teams will be fairly guarded and I don-t think either team will want to show their hand too early with us coming up against each other again in Round 1,” van Egmond said.

“We-ll be using a fairly mixed bag of players and I-m sure Sydney will get something out of the game as will we.”

Van Egmond said he was curious to see how the Sky Blues approach the match from a tactical and personnel standpoint.

“I think most importantly it-s about looking at how Sydney play and what type of formation they play,” he said.

“We know most of their players anyhow because we-ve played against them for a number of years.

“You hear things already about how they-re setting up and who-s playing in what position, so it will be interesting to see how some of those players adapt to a newer position than what they-re used to.”

Van Egmond said the match against Sydney would be another good opportunity for the Jets- playing squad to work on combinations and chemistry.

“We-ve obviously got a few new players and to get games is really important from a combination point of view,” van Egmond said.

“Our fitness from a conditioning point of view is good, but to get match fitness is important as well, so this is just another important step leading into the beginning of the season.

“We-ve still got everyone in the mix and we-ll send out a different team again against Sydney.

“We want to work on that so called first XI, but it-s still important for the whole squad to get minutes as well.”

Meanwhile, Josh Brillante has been ruled out of this afternoon-s fixture after breaking his nose in the Jets- trial match against Sydney Olympic on Tuesday.