Jobe Wheelhouse is confident the Jets will thrive in what is sure to be a no holds barred F3 derby clash on Saturday night.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets captain Jobe Wheelhouse is confident that he and his teammates will thrive in what is sure to be a no holds barred F3 derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.
The fierce local rivals go head-to-head for the 27th time this weekend and Wheelhouse said he is expecting a typically feisty encounter.
“The F3 Derby has normally got a bit of fire in it and we-ve got plenty of players in our team who like to give it out,” he said.
“I think there-s got to be a little bit of hatred (between the Clubs). I definitely know both sets of supporters don-t like each other, so that-s a start.
“For us players, as soon as we cross that white line, we-ll definitely be doing our very best to win the game.
“Graham Arnold, ever since he-s gone there has really got those boys firing. We-re under no illusions and we know it-s not going to be an easy game.
“This game brings out the best in both teams. We-ve won the Championship and they-ve won a couple of Premier-s Plates, so they-re a good side, but we-re ready for them.”
From a personal standpoint, Wheelhouse said he always relishes the opportunity to play in an F3 Derby match
“I-ve played in probably six to eight of them at least and they-re always really good games,” he said.
“I really enjoy them and they-re the types of matches that suit the way I play with the aggression and all that sort of stuff.”
Central Coast are yet to concede a goal so far this season, but Wheelhouse was adamant the Jets would be able to break down the Mariners- stingy defence.
“I think we scored three really good goals against Sydney last week and we probably could have scored five or six more,” he said.
“I think our front third has been a little bit criticised in pre-season, but I think we-ve finally found our touch in that area.
“It doesn-t really matter what defence we play against, if we-re on our game, we-ll score goals.”
A large crowd is expected for Saturday's fixture and Jets Members and supporters are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets and arrive early to avoid queues.
Wheelhouse said a big turnout of home fans could have a big impact on the match.
“We all know our crowd is our 12th man. The Squadron will be out there in numbers as well all our 11,000 Members,” he said.
“I-d say the Mariners will probably bring a few buses of supporters as well, so I-m looking forward to a big crowd.”
This season mark five years since the Jets defeated the Mariners in the 2008 Grand Final to win their first A-League Championship.
The Jets will be marking the anniversary prior to kick-off when the Westpac Rescue Helicopter delivers the A-League trophy to the field, accompanied by Newcastle football legends Andy Roberts and Cheryl Salisbury.
Parking information for the match can be found by clicking HERE.
Match Details: F3 Derby Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Hunter Stadium Saturday, October 20 Kick-off at 5.30pm (gates open 4.30pm) Tickets from PROticket
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