Jets' progress pleases coach

Gary van Egmond says he is happy with the progress the Newcastle Jets players have made so far this pre-season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says he is happy with the progress his players have made so far this pre-season.

The Jets began training in late May and worked for six weeks on building a fitness base.

In recent weeks, the focus has switched to giving the playing group match practice and while the Jets are yet to test themselves against A-League opposition, the results have impressed many.

Newcastle have scored 18 goals and only conceded two in their three pre-season victories so far and van Egmond said he is pleased with what he has seen from the Jets squad.

“They-ve decided that they want to achieve certain things this year and that-s not just from a positional sense but from a performance sense as well,” he said.

“From my point of view, I-m quite happy with where they are at the moment.

“The players feel they can do better and they-re going to keep working hard and working towards trying to achieve the best performance they can possibly get in the pre-season and taking that into the A-League.”

Van Egmond said the Jets coaching staff are looking to push the players in training in order to see how they respond to the heavy workload during their trial matches.

“The boys are under fatigue, they-re working pretty hard on the training paddock,” he said.

“They went into the game on Wednesday with fairly heavy legs, but they really pushed themselves through it.

“We scored three goals in the first half. They were three really good individual goals.

“The one thing I was a little bit disappointed by was that we had enough ball (to score more goals), but the combinations in the front third probably weren-t as fluent as we would like.

“It-s going to take a bit of time and we-ve still got one or two players to come into that area as well.

“Overall, being the third match and taking everything into consideration, it was good.”

Van Egmond said he was impressed with the versatility and performance of new recruit James Brown, who got through his first full game in Jets colours in the Club-s 6-0 win over the NBN State League Select on Wednesday.

“James got through 90 minutes, which was his first 90 minutes so that was good,” van Egmond said.

“What-s good about James is that he played in three different positions last night, he-ll always work for the team, and he was effective in all three positions.”

With three convincing wins under their belt, van Egmond said confidence within the Jets squad was high, but it was important the players didn-t rest on their laurels.

“The fact that we-re putting some goals in the back of the net is always pleasing and it was pleasing last night that we didn-t concede,” he said.

“If the performance is similar to what we did last night we can keep on building that, but it-s important not to fall back on those performances.

“The opposition will tend to get harder as we go through and it-ll be interesting to see how we react to that.”