Regan hoping to nail down starting spot

Taylor Regan says he hopes to stake his claim for a starting spot in the centre of the Jets' defence over the coming weeks.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Taylor Regan says he hopes to stake his claim for a starting spot in the centre of defence in the Jets- pre-season trial matches over the coming weeks.

With fellow central defenders Tiago Calvano and Connor Chapman unavailable due to suspension and Young Socceroos duty respectively, Regan has a chance to make one of the centre-back spots his own with strong performances against Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC over the next fortnight.

“All four of us, myself and Josh Mitchell included with Tiago and Connor knew that it was going to be a hard pre-season and we knew that every opportunity you get, you-re going to have to take it with both hands,” Regan said.

“I guess that-s the beauty of the squad this year, you can-t really afford to have one bad game otherwise you might find yourself on the bench or out of the squad completely.

“This is my chance at the moment and hopefully I can do alright against Brisbane in Tamworth.”

Having made 10 A-League appearances in his first year as a member of the Jets- senior squad and 20 appearances during the 2011/12 season, Regan said he is accustomed to having to fight for his spot in the Jets starting line-up.

“It doesn-t change anything. This is my third year with the senior squad now and it-s been the same for me since I came in, there-s always been pressure there,” he said.

“Last year we had Nikolai, myself and Tiago and this year we have Josh and young Connor added to the mix.

“There-s always competition there, it-s healthy and it will only make all four of us better players.”

The Jets play Brisbane Roar at Scully Park in Tamworth on Saturday night and Regan believes the contest will be a good measure of the Jets- progress during the pre-season.

“Brisbane are the benchmark, they have been for the last two years and this game will give us a chance to see where we are at right now,” he said.

“With another five weeks leading into the competition, it also gives us a chance to change anything if it-s not right.

“I think it-s the perfect time to meet Brisbane. We-ll go there with the attitude to win, give it our all and take no prisoners.”

Regan said that excitement was building amongst the Jets- playing group as the start of the A-League season draws near.

“Obviously we-ve got a very long pre-season with only six weeks to go now,” he said.

“To break it up into six-week blocks and things like that keeps you rejuvenated and keeps you focused on what our goals are this season.

“Coming in when we first started it felt so far away, but it really has gone quite quickly.

“Now we-re down to the business end of the pre-season where we work on the finer details and getting the game right.

“We-ve got the fitness in our legs now so it-s just about working hard and being ready for round one.”

Match details: Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar Scully Park, Tamworth Saturday, September 1 Kick-off 6.30pm (gates open 5.30pm)

Ticket prices: Gold (Adults $32) Silver (Adults $27, Kids $19, Family $75) General Admission (Adults $19, Kids $14, Family $55)

Tickets are available through West Tamworth Leagues Club or at www.wtlc.com.au.