Newcastle Jets captain Kew Jaliens believes the Jets’ final week of preparation for the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season has the team looking sharp ahead of Saturday’s F3 Derby showdown with the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.
Jaliens said the fierce competition for places in the Jets squad had kept all the players on their toes ahead of the season opener.
“We have a little bit of an idea who will play, but it is always up to the coach to make the final decision, but I think everybody looks sharp and the team is up for the fight,” Jaliens
“Everybody is still fighting for positions, so that’s a good thing, but it is a very long pre-season and I think we’re all excited that the first game is finally happening this weekend.”
Despite the Jets having only won one of their past 16 visits to Central Coast Stadium, Jaliens believes there is no better way for Newcastle to open their season than on the road against their archrivals.
“I never look at the past, I look always to the future and it’s another chance for us to get three points away and that’s what we’ll try to do,” Jaliens said.
“It’s important to win this game not only for us, but for the Club and all the supporters.
“I think it’s a good thing because it means we can’t afford to have a slow start.
“We need to be sharp from the beginning and I think it will be good for us to be under the pump from minute one.
“It’s a big game and we’re excited to start the season against them and we’ll see what happens.”
With Adrian Madaschi likely to ruled out of the fixture due to injury, former Mariner Sam Gallagher is likely to partner Jaliens in the centre of defence.
“Sam and I have played together a few times during the pre-season, so for me it’s no problem playing with him if that’s the decision Phil makes,” Jaliens said.