Tuesday night is a monumental occasion for the Newcastle Jets.
A first ever bow in the FFA Cup Quarter Finals after five years previously had returned just a solitary win in the competition as a whole.
On the line, a spot in the competition’s Semi Finals and a shot at some silverware early in the season.
In the way, an Adelaide United side with experience in the Cup and a similar desire to go all the way.
The pre-season has been a positive one so far this season for the Jets, with just the single loss across seven matches both friendly and competitive.
Performances against Brisbane (3-1 defeat) and Perth (1-1 draw) in last fortnight’s Surf City Cup were positive and the boys will be looking to draw on that experience against Hyundai A-League opposition to put their best foot forward this Tuesday night.
Adelaide have enjoyed a loss-less pre-season thus far, with their two wins in the FFA Cup coming against NPL opposition.
They beat Melbourne Knights 5-2 in the Round of 32 to progress, before knocking over Brisbane Olympic 3-2 in a Round of 16 nail biter.
There’s no shortage of player news for the Jets this week, with a combined 100+ years of experience in the running to return from injury.
Ernie Merrick has indicated that defensive trio Nigel Boogaard, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, and Glen Moss are all in line to sit on the bench in Adelaide.
One experienced operator who definitely will miss out is Ben Kantarovski, who picked up a slight knock to his hamstring at training late last week.
Of course, the biggest questions around selection leading into this match are around Panamanian striker, Abdiel Arroyo.
The number 9 went down at training on Friday after rolling his ankle and while the initial prognosis was severe it's not entirely clear what type of role, if any, he plays.
He has made the trip across to Adelaide, but whether he plays or not remains to be seen. If he is unavailable, expect either Kaine Sheppard or Jason Hoffman to fill the void up front.
From the back
“It’s an exciting game. The club hasn’t really progressed this far in the FFA Cup ever,” defender, Johnny Koutroumbis said.
“For me, playing in front of my family and friends means a lot. I don’t usually get to do it, I moved to Newcastle alone at 18 years old, so to go back whenever I can and play in front of them is really special.
“It’s very important for the fans that we do well, and it shows where we are. We want the fans to get excited for the Hyundai A-League, and this is the way to do it. Seeing how far we’ve come, I think it’ll give them great confidence in us.
“New coach in Adelaide, but they’re a great squad with a good bunch of players and we’re expecting a tough match on Tuesday.”
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