Match Preview Round 1: Jets v Heart

The Newcastle Jets meet Melbourne Heart on Saturday October 8 at Ausgrid Stadium for their 2011/12 season opening game.

VENUE AND TIME: Ausgrid Stadium, 4:30pm Saturday 8th October RADIO BROADCASTER: ABC Newcastle LAST TIME: Jets 2 d Heart 0 HEAD TO HEAD: Played 3, Jets 1, Heart 1, drawn 1 REFEREE: Ryan Shepheard

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 2. Taylor Regan, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5. Tiago Calvano, 6. Ben Kantarovski, 7. Kasey Wehrman, 8. Jeremy Brockie, 10. Ruben Zadkovich, 11. Tarek Elrich, 12. Jobe Wheelhouse (c), 13. Sung-Hwan Byun, 14. Labinot Haliti, 15. Chris Payne, 17. James Virgili, 18. Marko Jesic, 19. Matthew Nash, 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Ryan Griffiths

Melbourne Heart squad: 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Brendan HAMILL, 5. FRED©, 6. Matt THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM, 8. Kristian SARKIES, 9. MAYCON, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 11. Alex TERRA, 13. Jonatan GERMANO, 15. David WILLIAMS, 16. Aziz BEHICH, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 18. Curtis GOOD, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 24. Nikola ROGANOVIC (Gk), 30. Sebastian MATTEI (Gk)

The Newcastle Jets meet Melbourne Heart on Saturday October 8 at Ausgrid Stadium for their 2011/12 season opening game.

An undefeated pre-season including a 1-0 win over Melbourne Heart will give the Jets are great deal of confidence going into Saturday afternoon-s game.

“The entire squad is excited and looking forward to playing at Ausgrid now it is complete and we are hoping that our Members and fans will come out to support us,” Craig Deans said.

On Wednesday, Craig Deans named an 18-man squad and will use the Jets final training session on Friday to determine which 11 players will start for the Jets.

HOW THEY LINE UP

Even though the Jets defeated Heart in the pre season, Deans says that there will be a big step up in the intensity of tomorrows game compared to their pre season fixture.

“Heart have bought some more players since that game who are fit and ready go,

“They play a Dutch style of football where they keep the ball on the ground and attack whenever they have the opportunity and we need to be aware of that.”

One player the Jets will need to keep an eye on is Brazilian midfielder Fred who returns to the A-League after a stint in the USA. Fred is a dynamic playmaker who was recently been announced as the Captain of Heart.

Fred-s teammate and fellow Brazilian, Alex Terra is also expected to be a handful for the Jets. Terra is lightning quick who scored some spectacular goals last season.

Deans is confidant the Jets defenders understand their role as a defensive unit and have shown in the pre season that they are up to the task of containing Heart.

“I have been working with the defenders from day one, the attitude they have shown has been excellent and they have really applied themselves and done everything I have asked them to do,” Deans added.

KEY PLAYERS

After being plagued with injuries last season, the Jets used their pre season to rotate players to make sure they were prepared if players like Jeremy Brockie and Marko Jesic are not fit to play tomorrow.

“James Virgili and Labinot Haliti have done a great job for us, as has Ali Abbas," Deans said.

“It is not a massive dilemma if either Jeremy or Marko don-t take the field.”

The Heart also has injury concerns, with goalkeeper Clinton Bolton and Simon Colosimo in doubt for Saturday-s game.

There is also a question mark over the availability of ex Jets skipper Matt Thompson, whose wife is due to give birth to their first child.