The Newcastle Jets will take on Bonnyrigg White Eagles in a pre-season trial match at Bonnyrigg Sports Fields tonight.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets will take on Bonnyrigg White Eagles in a pre-season trial match at Bonnyrigg Sports Fields tonight.
Bonnyrigg currently sit in second place on the NSW NPL 1 ladder and Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said he expected the White Eagles to provide the Jets with a stern test on Wednesday night.
“They-ve had two or three seasons where they-ve been pretty close to the top of tree down in Sydney, so it will be a really good challenge for us,” Deans said.
“The last couple of times we-ve played them in pre-season it has been quite a tight game, so we-ll need to lift our effort and performance accordingly.”
For the first time this pre-season, the Jets have had close to a full complement of players taking the field at training, with the only exceptions being injured quartet Zenon Caravella, James Brown, Josh Mitchell and Mitch Cooper.
Deans said the return of Emile Heskey, as well as a number of squad members who were away on international duty, had lead to a step-up in the level of competitiveness on the training paddock.
“This week has been good. It-s almost back to normal with most of the first team squad being back and it has really helped lift the intensity of training,” Deans said.
“For the guys who have been here training for most of the pre-season already, it gives them a bit of an extra boost to have some of their teammates back on deck.”
Deans said he expected Jets captain Ruben Zadkovich and midfielder Joshua Brillante to get their first minutes of the pre-season against Bonnyrigg.
“We-ll try and get as many minutes as we can into all of them,” Deans said.
“You just have to be careful with guys like Ruben and Josh who have had a little bit of time off.
“You don-t want them doing too much too soon, especially this far out from the season, so it-s important to be patient and build them up gradually so they-re ready to go for Round 1.”
Newcastle Jets v Bonnyrigg White Eagles Bonnyrigg Sports Fields, Bonnyrigg Wednesday, August 14th Kick-off 6.30pm