Having joined the Jets as a 15-year-old back in 2008, Ben Kantarovski knows better than most how important it is to win the F3 Derby.
Having joined the Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets as a 15-year-old back in 2008, Ben Kantarovski knows better than most how important it is to win the F3 Derby.
Kantarovski became the youngest ever player to earn a fulltime A-League contract when he joined the Jets just months before they defeated the Central Coast Mariners in the 2008 Grand Final to secure the Club-s first A-League Championship.
While Kantarovski didn-t feature in that match, throughout his entire professional career the Mariners have been his nearest and fiercest rivals.
“If you-re a Jets fan, this is definitely the most important game to come to each season,” Kantarovski explains.
“Not only the rivalry between us and the Mariners, but also the sheer determination and willingness to win the battle that we always have for games against the Central Coast.”
Kantarovski said the Jets would love to open their account at Hunter Stadium this season by beating the Central Coast on Saturday.
“It-ll be even sweeter if our first home win of the season comes against the Mariners,” he said.
“I think there-s a lot of passion and a lot of determination to win this game. It-s obviously a massive rivalry between both of us, so it-s a matter of making sure we-re willing and able to do the job.
“I think it was a bit of a let down for the Members and supporters last time we played at home.
“Going away to Sydney and showing them how much we improved and what we can do is even more of a reason why they should come and support us next week.
“We want to do the same thing we did against Sydney and make sure we get the points while making it enjoyable for our Members and supporters.”
Newcastle have a number of new players in their squad this season who have never played in a F3 Derby before. However, Kantarovski said it won-t take much to get them up to speed on the significance of the fixture.
“I think when they realise how much rivalry there actually is between Newcastle and the Mariners, they-ll realise how important the game really is,” he said.
“We just have to ensure we go into the game with the right mindset.”
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.
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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