Newcastle Jets midfielder Mitch Cooper says that while the players and coaches are enjoying spending time with their fans on #JETSTOUR, they are still working hard on the field to prepare for their upcoming Westfield FFA Cup match.
The Jets’ bus stopped in Armidale on Wednesday where the team will spend the next three days mixing it with Jets fans, but Cooper says that while the players are loving their time in Northern New South Wales the players aren’t losing their focus on the pitch.
“The tour has been great so far but we have to remember that we’ve got a really important match coming up in the FFA Cup against Perth Glory,” Cooper said.
“This is the second year in a row we are facing them at home and this time we’re not going to let them get the better of us.
“We’ve got less than two weeks now to prepare for the match and we sat down yesterday to have a chat about the finer details of how it’s going to play out,” he revealed.
Jets fans attending the open training sessions in Taree and Coffs Harbour have been getting a first-hand look at a team preparing for a big match, as Cooper said the boys are getting into the right mindset for the game.
“On the pitch we’re starting to work really hard on tactics and what each individual player’s job will be when the match kicks off,” he said.
“That sort of thing makes us even hungrier and it’s good to help us get into the right mindset for the match which is now only 13 days away.”
Cooper says that while the team has been working hard to get FFA Cup ready, the overwhelming support from Jets fans on the tour so far has not gone unnoticed by the players.
“The support has been incredible so far,” Cooper said. “We had a training session yesterday and heaps of kids showed up to see us which is really great.
“Some parents have been letting their kids leave school early to come down and see us just so they can wish us well for the season.
“It’s important to remember that we’re not just a team for Newcastle and we represent everyone all over the Hunter and far up the North Coast, too.
“It’s really important to get out here and give some time back to our fans who have stuck with us over the past couple of years.”
The attacking midfielder said the trip has also been good to help the team bond especially with so many new recruits coming aboard in the past few weeks.
“Labinot (Haliti) and Mateo (Poljak) got here just in time for the start of the tour and they’ve already settled in perfectly both on and off the pitch.
“They’re up to speed with what we’re trying to do on the park this year and they’re already starting to help out in guiding the younger players around the pitch. They’re going to be really good signings.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing in the midfield with Mateo so far and Labinot got up to sing the other day as all new recruits have to.“This is the longest time we’ve spent together so far and it’s important for all the players to be united as we get closer and closer to the FFA Cup.”
Newcastle Jets will face fellow Hyundai A-League club Perth Glory in the round of 32 of the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup at Magic Park, Broadmeadow on Tuesday 11 August. Get your tickets HERE and get behind the boys in what will be Scott Miller’s first competitive match at the helm of the Jets! #TogetherWeCanSoar