Jets prepared for Weston trial

The Newcastle Jets will take on Weston Bears FC at Rockwell Automation Park in a pre-season trial match on Thursday night.

The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets will play the second match of their pre-season schedule against Weston Bears FC at Rockwell Automation Park on Thursday night.

The fixture will provide the Jets with another valuable hit-out as they continue their preparations for the 2013/14 A-League season. Kick-off for the match is at 6.30pm.

International commitments and injury have left Jets head coach Gary van Egmond with a bare-bones squad to choose from for Thursday night-s game.

“We-ll have approximately eight or nine first graders that we can call on and we-ll call up a couple more of the younger ones,” van Egmond said.

“What makes things a bit more challenging is the Youth Team and Under 18 Emerging Jets are playing catch up games against South Cardiff in the NBN State League on Thursday, so we-ll have a bit of a skeleton squad.

“Weston have been very understanding and allowed us to modify the game to 60 minutes, which is all we need at this present time.”

In a boost for the Jets, Connor Chapman returns to the squad after playing for the Foxtel A-League All Stars against Manchester United last Saturday night.

However, Newcastle will still be without Mark Birighitti, Josh Brillante, Craig Goodwin, Adam Taggart and Ruben Zadkovich, who are all representing Australia at the EAFF East Asian Cup in Korea Republic.

Van Egmond said that while having five players away with the Socceroos was a somewhat of a disruption to the Jets- pre-season schedule, the Club would ultimately benefit from the international experience those players gain.

“It-s nice in one way to be able to work with a smaller group, but we-re starting to look a little bit more at the 11 v 11 facet of the game, so it will be nice when we get all the boys back on deck,” van Egmond said.

“From the younger boys- point of view, playing a lot of games in the A-League last season, being called up to the Young Socceroos and playing in a World Cup and now with a number of them playing with the Australian team, it just gives them so much more confidence.

“Obviously the benefit they derive from that is the experience. International football is different to club football, so that again gives them more things to call on.

“For those reasons I-m expecting them to be a lot better prepared this year than last year.”

Van Egmond said it would be important to manage the workload of the Jets- Socceroos representatives once they return to Club duty.

“We-ve got a number of games scheduled and it-s just a matter of ensuring we don-t get injures,” van Egmond said.

“Obviously the close we get to the season, the more consistency of training we want. We-ll monitor their fitness and see where they-re at.

“The Young Socceroos in particular who went from Turkey to now playing with the senior national team in Korea will need a bit of time off.”

Newcastle Jets FC v Weston Workers Bears FC Rockwell Automation Park (Government Rd, Weston) Thursday, July 25 Kick-off 6:30pm