Jets' pre-season stepping up a gear

Sam Gallaway says the Jets’ preparations for the season have been taken up a notch, with less than 40 days until kick-off.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Sam Gallaway says the Jets- preparations for the Hyundai A-League season have been taken up a notch, with less than 40 days remaining until Round 1 clash with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

After a week off, the Jets entered the final six-week training block of their pre-season schedule on Monday and Gallaway said there had already been a noticeable step up in intensity as the season draws near.

“The first few days back have been pretty full on, but it-s just good to be back into training,” Gallaway said.

“At the start of pre-season we only had eight to 10 players training at times because we had boys away with the national teams and whatnot.

“Having all our new signings and everyone here training is really good, because the season is getting really close now.

“Each position has a number of players available for that spot and everyone wants to play.

“The intensity of training is a lot higher and everyone is fighting for positions.”

Gallaway missed the Jets- pre-season trial match against Wellington Phoenix because of a minor knee complaint, but said having a week-s rest had enabled him to recover fully for the Jets- upcoming pre-season fixtures against Hyundai A-League opposition.

“The week off came at a good time for me because my knee flared up a bit before the Wellington game, which didn-t allow me to play,” Gallaway said.

“I just needed a bit of time for it to settle down and everything is back to normal now and I-m back in full training, which is good.

“We did a lot of fitness work in the last training phase, but now it-s more game based and we-re starting to play some really strong opposition.

“We played Wellington before the break and now we-ve got trial matches against Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory and Central Coast coming up.”

Gallaway said the Jets were under no illusions about how big a season 2013/14 is for the Club.

“We definitely need to step our game up this season after missing the finals the last couple of years,” he said.

“Our main goal is really to make the finals, but to do that you need to have a good start to the season.

“Everyone-s really focused and looking to step it up in these pre-season games so we have a good platform for when the competition starts.”

Gallaway was speaking to at the recent launch of the Club-s partnership with YOGA loft.

“It-s a great initiative for the Club having YOGA loft on board,” Gallaway said.

“Yoga is good for loosening the muscles, it helps you relax and gets you ready for the games on the weekend, so it-s definitely a positive thing for the players and the Club.”