Jets hoping for tough trial games

Jets assistant coach Craig Deans says the Club is hopeful of securing pre-season matches against A-League opposition.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans says the Jets are hopeful of securing pre-season matches against A-League opposition as they prepare for the 2012/13 season.

The Jets began pre-season training at Ray Watt Oval today and Deans said the Club was eager to test themselves with trial matches against high-quality teams prior to the start of the A-League season in October.

“As far as games go, we-re looking at opportunities to play some A-League Clubs in pre-season and in an ideal world we-d like to go into a little camp somewhere, but we-re still looking at that,” he said.

“We-ll play some State League teams as well as some Northern NSW State teams, but nothing is concrete yet.”

Deans said another important part of pre-season would be managing the playing time of the Jets squad to ensure all player are match fit for round one.

“The timing of the players in terms of how long they play for in each game is important,” he explained.

“Last year most players played 45 minutes every week and that-s a base to start with but I think we need to develop the game time of individuals and so they are ready to play 90 minutes from the start of the season.”

The majority of the Jets pre-season training will involve fitness drills incorporating ball work.

Deans said this approach would allow players to build on-field chemistry from the get-go.

“Things have changed a lot in the last five or 10 years. There-s no sand dunes, or no awful road running for hours,” Deans said.

“It-s all done with a ball and that gives the guys an opportunity to meet the new players and start to form some understanding on the field with a ball rather than running up and down a hill or things like that.

“(Jets Strength and Conditioning Manager) Adam Waterson has been through the conditioning model that is favoured by the FFA and myself and Gary have been through that as well.

“I think it-s the best option for us and I think it-s the best option for your football results as well.

“You can start working on your combinations and your understanding of the players from pretty much day one.”