Kantarovski looking for solid pre-season

Ben Kantarovski believes getting a full pre-season under his belt is the key to ensuring he remains injury-free in 2013/14.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski believes getting a full pre-season under his belt is the key to ensuring he remains injury-free during the Jets- 2013/14 A-League campaign.

Kantarovski could only manage only four appearances for the Jets in 2012/13, before a torn meniscus in his right knee prematurely ended his season.

The 21-year-old said missing such a large portion of the season had only made him hungrier and more determined to make a big impact at A-League level this year.

“There-s a bit more desire and a bit more concentration now,” Kantarovski said.

“I think it was a bit of a wake up to make sure I-m ready to get that football into me.

“Now I want to get a good pre-season under my belt so I can set myself up for the coming season.”

The meniscus tear suffered last season was the second major knee injury the former Young Socceroos captain has experienced during his fledgling career, with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament requiring a knee reconstruction in 2010/11.

However, despite the injury setbacks slowing down a what is still a very promising career, Kantarovski continues to maintain a positive frame of mind and is adamant time is still on his side.

“I think being so young does work in my favour with the injuries I-ve had,” Kantarovski said.

“Being injured so early in my career I-ve still got plenty of time to get back to being fit and ready again.

“Now it-s just a matter of making sure I put that behind me and look to build towards another season.”

Kantarovski said he is hopeful of recapturing some of his best form in 2013/14 and once again becoming a crucial cog in the centre of the Jets- midfield.

“I think just before I got injured last season I started to get into some good form playing in that holding midfielder role, or even a bit higher up the park,” Kantarovski said.

“Just to be out there and performing consistently week-in, week-out and staying injury free is the big thing for me.

“We-ve got a couple of goals and other things to aim for during this pre-season and we-ll make sure we tick those off and work into the season.”

Kantarovski is one of 10 Jets A-League squad members who began pre-season training two weeks ago in preparation for the Singapore Soccer Sixes tournament this weekend.

“I think we-re just getting into the swing of things now with everyone starting to come back and get into training,” Kantarovski said.

“This tournament should be a good warm-up for the coming season and a good foundation for us to build on.”

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