NPL: Valentine on Sunday afternoon

Fresh from a fantastic victory over the then-league leaders, the young Jets will look to go back-to-back in the NPL Northern NSW this weekend.

The 3-1 victory, with a brace to Maki Petratos and one for Matt Barkho, sent the lads into a share of fourth spot.

With this a Round 4 catch-up match, Labi’s lads could take advantage of those sides who haven’t got washouts to play and go into a share of top spot.

NPL: Young Jets do job over Jaffas

Their opponents on Saturday, Valentine Phoenix, come into this one off the back of two defeats.

A 10-man outfit went down 9-1 to Broadmeadow over the Easter weekend, before a much tighter 3-2 loss to Charlestown last weekend. 

Team news

With the Hyundai A-League season now finished for the senior boys, some of the younger crew could become more regular features of the side.

Pat Langlois and Jack Simmons returned to the team which beat Lambton last weekend, and they could be further boosted this weekend.

Angus Thurgate plied his trade in the latter weeks of the Hyundai A-League campaign as a box-to-box midfielder and could be in the mix come Sunday.  

There was a departure from the young side during the week with attacker, Kent Harrison leaving with the blessing of coaches Labi Haliti and Lawrie McKinna to join Hamilton Olympic.

Younger players could benefit from his move, with the likes of Bailey Wells and Sam Donnellan currently doing well in the U/20s competition.

From the coach

“The last three weeks [before the Lambton match], our performances had been good but we hadn’t quite got the results,” Labi Haliti said.

“Against Lambton, we had the performance and the result. I couldn’t be prouder of the boys – Jaffas are the benchmark of the competition.

“It was the belief in what we’re doing, the way we want to do things, and I think the boys are seeing the benefits as individuals and as a team that, if you do the basics and the little things right, good performances will turn into good results.

“Valentine are an experienced side, they made a few good signings in the off-season, and it’ll be a very very hard game.

“Both times we played them last year, they were very close games. They’ll be up for it, they’re playing at home and we expect a very hard game.”