A mix of Newcastle Jets first and youth team players will play an international friendly against a squad from Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Saturday afternoon.
With Jets Youth having a bye in round 2 of the FOXTEL National Youth League 2016/17 Season, the Club has accepted the rare opportunity to face a combination of youth, reserve and first team players from the J.League outfit at Valentine Sports Park in Sydney.
The 2016 J.League regular season concluded in early November with Hajime Moriyasu’s men finishing sixth with a record of 16 wins, seven draws and 11 losses from their 34 games.
With an eye on their 2017 J.League assault, the men from the Hiroshima Big Arch Stadium have opted to travel to Australia to debrief their 2016 campaign and look ahead to their 46th season in Japan’s top flight.
Newcastle Jets FOXTEL NYL Head Coach and Hyundai A-League Assistant Coach Clayton Zane said the opportunity for many of the Club’s youth players to test themselves against players from a leading J.League outfit would be invaluable.
“It will be a good test for us,” Zane said. “Japanese players are quite technical, so it will be good challenge for us to come up against perhaps a different style of football. If they [Sanfrecce Hiroshima] do have some first team squad members involved, it will be even better for our boys.”
“The timing of the match being offered to us worked out well. Obviously the youth team have a bye, so this will be a great opportunity to get further match fitness and provide the boys with some momentum leading into round 3 away to Central Coast next Saturday morning in Tuggerah.”
Sanfrecce Hiroshima has some inextricable links to Australian football. Graham Arnold, Hayden Foxe, Tony Popovic and Steve Corica all played for the Club, while over the past few years their first team has visited Australia to play in the AFC Champions League.
Kick-off on Saturday afternoon is at 4pm.