NEWS: Kantarovski feeling stronger following surgery

Newcastle Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski says he’s excited to be back on the pitch following his off-season surgery and is looking forward next week’s Westfield FFA Cup match.

Kantarovski has returned to regular training following his groin surgery in May, and the defensive midfielder says he’s feeling the best he has in a long time.

“I felt a change as soon as I had the operation,” Kantarovski said. “When I woke up [from the operation] I felt total relief and a lot sharper.”

“After that it was a case of getting the strength back into my groin and stepping it up week by week.

“It’s a long off season and we’ve done a lot of the work in the pre-season and I’ve been easing myself back into it.”

Kantarovski played 20 minutes in the Jets’ training/exhibition match during last week’s #JETSTOUR around Northern New South Wales, and the midfielder says it’s good to be getting a solid pre-season under his belt.

“It was a long eight to ten week break after the surgery but it was important for me to have it in terms of my career,” Kantarovski said.

“It’s good to get my body back to 100 per cent and have a full pre-season under my belt this time around as the past few have been interrupted.”

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[FFA CUP] There’s just EIGHT days until we take on Perth Glory in the Round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup! Will you be...

Posted by Newcastle Jets on Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Novocastrian said that the new atmosphere established by coach Scott Miller and the club has been really positive and is making training really enjoyable for the players.

“The vibe around the club at the moment is great and I’ve been waking up really keen to come to training,” he said.

“Everybody is coming to training with a smile on their face, eager to work, learn and do more on the pitch.

“The way Scott has us training right now we’re going to be a very structured team and we’re looking to build from there.”

While the Jets’ Round of 32 FFA Cup clash against Perth Glory may have arrived a little early for the local boy to play a major part in, Kantarovski says that the team is completely focused on making it into the round of 16.

“I’m not sure if I’ll be ready for the FFA Cup match [against Perth] as I’m just taking it week by week at the moment,” he said.

“But the bulk of the team is here now and I think we’re looking in good shape for the match.

“We’re set up strong defensively in terms of structure and all the players on the park know their roles and are keen to get some game time under their belt.”

Kantarovski says that the addition of inaugural FFA Cup winners Nigel Boogaard and Cameron Watson and reigning AFC Champions League winners Labinot Haliiti and Mateo Poljak to the Jets’ squad can give Newcastle the edge they need to make an impact on the Cup.

“Players with championship winning experience have a different drive to more inexperienced squad members and they do all the little things right that add up in a game,” Kantarovski explained.

“We’ve had experienced players like that here in the past and it’s good have some of that culture back in the club again.”

“Those type of players have an extra bit of spark and don’t take anything for granted which helped them perform on the big stage. Hopefully they’ve [Boogaard, Watson, Haliti & Poljak] brought that with them.”

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