The Newcastle Jets will play another intra-club trial match at Ray Watt Oval on Wednesday morning.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets will play another intra-club trial match as they continue their pre-season preparations at Ray Watt Oval on Wednesday morning.
Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said the fixture will be another good opportunity for the Jets players to test themselves under match conditions.
“It was a good game last week up at Hunter Valley Grammar and we got a lot out of it, so hopefully that will be the case again on Wednesday,” he said.
“We-re looking at the amount of time people have played and we-ll put the combinations together of people that we want to be working together.
“That usually means you-re putting your best eleven together anyway, so it-ll be a mix of the best eleven and making sure that we get the minutes into them they need.”
The Jets Youth Team defeated the Jets First XI 2-1 in last week-s encounter and Deans said the intensity and competitiveness on display in that game was the ideal environment for the entire Jets squad to thrive in.
“We don-t want only 14 people here who want to play and (the rest) to make up the numbers,” he said.
“We want to have 23 people that want to play… they understand what-s at stake and what-s at stake at the moment is a spot in the starting eleven.
“They-re professional footballers and they will want to try and win every time they play.
“It-ll be a good opportunity again for the so-called starting eleven to show that they are the starting eleven.”
Michael Bridges will sit out the fixture with a hamstring injury, but Deans said the Englishman is well on the road to recovery.
“He-s coming along quite well,” Deans said.
“He did light sessions towards the end of last week and did another good session with the physio today that was a bit harder again.
“We-ll hopefully in the next seven to 10 days get him back into full training.”
Deans said the match might be used as an opportunity to see how Tiago Calvano performs in a holding midfield role.
“Tiago is comfortable on the ball, defensively he-s sound, his passing range is quite good and he-s a good communicator so they-re all good attributes for a midfielder to have,” he said.
“We-ve got a lot of cover (in the centre of defence) with Dominik Ritter, Josh Mitchell, Tiago, Connor Chapman and Taylor Regan.
"There-s five people for two positions and it is always nice to have a look at different scenarios because at some point during the season you might have to look at people playing out of their so called positions.”
Meanwhile, the Jets are still continuing to search for another attacking option to add to their squad.
“We-re still hoping to sort the number nine situation out in the next week or two,” Deans said.
“I know Gary and Robbie have been talking to a couple of players.
“The sooner we can get it done, the better, but at the same time we-ve still got nine or 10 weeks until the start of the season.
“The MLS, China, Korea and Japan have all got a lot of money, so any player that is a target in Australia is a target in those types of countries as well because we-re all competing for the same types of players.
“With the money on offer in those countries sometimes it makes it a bit more difficult.”
Match Details Intra-club Trial Match Jets First XI v Jets Youth Wednesday, August 1 Ray Watt Oval Kick-off 10am.