Jets youth ready to kick-off NBN campaign

The Newcastle Jets youth team will take on Valentine FC in round one of the NBN State League at Cahill Oval on Friday.

The Newcastle Jets youth team will make history on Friday when they play their first ever match in the NBN Northern NSW State League against Valentine FC at Cahill Oval.

The Jets are the only A-League Club to have their youth team competing in their local State League competition.

Coach Arthur Papas believes the initiative will be extremely beneficial to the Club-s player development pathways.

“It means a year-long program for our youth team players and that-s important because it means they can continue training in a full-time environment and gain some more competitive matches throughout the year,” Papas said.

“We-re hoping that some of our youth team players will now play between 35 and 40 matches in a calendar year, instead of 20.”

As well as the opportunity for more match practice, playing in the NBN State League will also give the Jets- youth the chance to compete against full grown adults.

“It-s about developing our players for the next level and getting used to playing against senior footballers,” Papas said.

“A lot of the things players are able to get away with at youth league level they won-t be able to get away with at senior level, so that allows them to further develop their insight and smarts for the game and that is crucial.”

Papas said he was expecting a difficult challenge against Valentine FC on Friday.

“It will be a tough game for us against Valentine and to be honest I don-t think there is going to be an easy game for us in the league,” he said.

“First of all we-ll just have to get a feel for the league and there is going to be an adaptation period for our younger players as well, getting used to playing against men.

“I expect the intensity to be higher, the physical side to be higher and I expect it to be a good competition.”

Match Details: NBN Northern NSW State League Newcastle Jets v Valentine FC At Cahill Oval, Belmont Friday, April 6 Kick-off 2:30pm