Jets primed for opening game

Jobe Wheelhouse believes the Jets couldn’t be better prepared for Sunday’s season opener against Adelaide United.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets captain Jobe Wheelhouse believes the Jets couldn-t be better prepared for Sunday-s season opener against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium.

The Jets have been in pre-season training since late May and Wheelhouse is confident the effort they have put in on the training paddock will pay dividends against the Reds.

“We-ve been (in pre-season) for the best part of five months now, so we-re definitely looking forward to the game to say the least,” he said.

“We-ve definitely done the work. We-re working really hard, even three or four days out from the season so we-ll definitely be ready mentally and physically for Adelaide on Sunday.”

Adelaide make the long return trip to Uzbekistan and back this week to play FC Bunyodkor in the second leg of their AFC Champions League quarter final.

The match will give the Jets an opportunity to scout their opponents before Sunday-s A-League fixture. However, Wheelhouse said Newcastle wouldn-t be spending too much time focusing on their opposition.

“They-ve got quite a big trip home on the Saturday, so that could work either way for us,” he said.

“I think if we just concentrate on our own game, we-ll be fine for Sunday. We know they-re a good side, but we-ve done all the work we-ve needed to, so we-re fighting fit.”

Wheelhouse said the arrival of Emile Heskey had already provided the squad with a boost and he is optimistic that the former England striker will feature in Sunday-s game.

“He-s settled in quite well and he-s a great addition to our squad,” Wheelhouse said.

“(With him there), not many balls go into the front third and don-t come back to our shirts. That-s something we maybe haven-t had in the past, a real target man and that gives us a different angle to our game.

“He played at the top level for a number of years, so he-ll bring a hell of a lot to our team, not just on the park, but off the park as well.

“I haven-t spoken too much to Dutchy (van Egmond) about whether he-ll start or come off the bench, but I-d say he will definitely play a role on Sunday.

“You only have to look at the last couple of days. He looks sharp with his quality on the ball and hopefully he can get on the end of a few crosses as well.”

Wheelhouse will again have the honour of leading the Jets this season and the Toronto local is hoping to lead his side out in front of a bumper crowd at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.

“I-m a hometown boy, so it-s a massive privilege and an honour to captain these boys,” he said.

“We-ve got such a great squad this year and I-m really looking forward to us making our mark on this season. We can definitely push for that top six spot.

“Obviously the addition of Emile has made a big difference with the Membership numbers and we-re really looking forward to getting back and playing in front of our home crowd.

“Our Members and supporters are our 12th man and they always have been over the years, so hopefully we can get a big crowd on Sunday.”

Match details: Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United Hunter Stadium Sunday, October 7 Kick-off at 3pm Tickets available through PROticket

It's not too late to become a Jets Member. New Members joining from now until midnight Thursday, October 4 will receive an E-Ticket from PROticket for this Sunday's match. More details can be found HERE.