Pepper making the most of his versatility

Jacob Pepper believes playing in a number of different roles for the Jets this pre-season will benefit his game overall.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets utility Jacob Pepper believes playing in a number of different roles for the Jets this pre-season will have an overall benefit to his game ahead of the Club-s 2013/14 Hyundai A-League campaign.

Pepper played 90 minutes in the heart of the Jets- defence during their 1-0 trial match loss to Wellington Phoenix at Rockwell Automation Park in Weston last Saturday.

“I don-t mind playing at centre-back, I think I-m pretty comfortable and can do a job for the team there,” Pepper said.

“In a way, it-s a bit easier than playing in the midfield because you-re always facing forward and can see the game in front of you.

“In midfield it-s really important to communicate and even more so when you-re playing at the back.

“That communication side of things is another area I can work into my game, just being confident marshalling people beside me and infront of me.”

Pepper has also featured as a right wing-back in the 3-4-3 formation the Jets have used in pre-season.

The 21-year-old, whose preferred position is in the centre of midfield, said he does not mind being viewed as somewhat of a utility player.

“It can be a bit of a challenge adjusting from playing as a right wing-back to centre-back, but it-s also good to have that versatility.

“It gives me more chances to play games and do a job for the team, so hopefully I can start to get that consistency in my game.”

Despite the result against Wellington, Pepper said there were a number of positives the Jets could take out of the match.

“Obviously it-s a higher level of opposition that we played against and it was good for us to get an idea of where we-re at as a team,” Pepper said.

“It was a bit of a step-up from the State League teams we-ve been playing, so it took us maybe five or 10 minutes to get used to the intensity.

“I thought as the game went on we got better and probably ended up controlling the mainstay of the game.”