The Newcastle Jets take on Melbourne Victory in a pre-season trial match at AAMI Park on Wednesday.
The Newcastle Jets take on Melbourne Victory in a pre-season trial match to be played behind closed doors at AAMI Park on Wednesday.
The fixture will be the Jets- second Hyundai A-League trial match in the space of five days, after defeating Sydney FC 1-0 at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Saturday.
Jets assistant coach Craig Deans indicated Newcastle would field a near full-strength side against the Victory, with the exception of some players carrying minor injuries.
“When we played Sydney we were mindful of the fact that we had this game coming up against the Victory on Wednesday, so we wanted to make sure we didn-t overwork anyone.
“On paper, the team we-re hoping to put out tomorrow will be a very strong outfit.
“The Sydney game taught us a lot about a lot of players and made it a lot more competitive for players coming into the next two or three weeks.”
Among those missing the contest are captain Ruben Zadkovich (back) and forward Adam Taggart (knee), both of whom have minor injuries.
Deans said the pair would be available to play if three competition points were on the line.
“They-re more just being rested as a precaution, just because we play two games in such a short space of time,” Deans said.
“We just need to make sure everyone is fit and healthy, because there is no point risking people at this stage of the pre-season.”
Deans said the Jets playing squad was excited to face another Hyundai A-League opponent with the start of the season proper only a matter of weeks away.
“The players get a bit more excited about playing against A-League opposition at an A-League venue,” Deans said.
“It-s about forming some combinations with the new players and hopefully getting a positive result as well.
“I think it-s nice to win, because winning breeds confidence and that-s one of the things we-ll be looking to get out of the match on Wednesday.
“It also gives some of the newer players like Kew the opportunity to go down AAMI Park and see what sort of travel is involved in the A-League.
“Emile had it last year, adjusting to the distances we travel for games and how to best prepare for them.”
Newcastle Jets squad for pre-season trial match against Melbourne Victory: Mark Birighitti Ben Kennedy Scott Neville Sam Gallaway Connor Chapman Mitch Oxborrow Kew Jaliens Emile Heskey Ben Kantarovski Taylor Regan Nathan Burns Zenon Caravella Joey Gibbs Craig Goodwin James Virgili Andrew Hoole
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory Wednesday, September 18 AAMI Park (closed doors) Kick-off 2pm