Newcastle born and bred defender Taylor Regan believes its unfortunate that Central Coast Mariners skipper John Hutchinson is set to equal the Hyundai A-League appearance record at Hunter Stadium in front of Jets members and fans rather than his own.
Regan--who has witnessed large travelling contingents of Jets fans at Gosford since the inception of the competition--knows that while Central Coast supporters like to talk the talk, they rarely walk the walk and make the short one-hour trip up the freeway to see their team in action in credible numbers.
Indeed, in recent years it has been reported that not even a solitary bus could be filled by members and fans of the club that has over the past two campaigns moved to switch games away from their Gosford base to North Sydney in search of more avid and substantial support.
According to Regan, it’s a pity that Hutchinson--a player he respects and congratulated on his impending achievement--is likely to make his 221st appearance in the Hyundai A-League in front of slim Central Coast support.
“We’ve got an 11,000-strong Membership base but I couldn’t even tell you theirs [Central Coast’s], yet I am sure we could count it pretty quickly,” Regan told media on Thursday.
“You’ve got [John] Hutchinson who is playing a record game and it’s a shame [for him] it’s at Hunter Stadium because every time they come here they don’t bring any fans... their fans don’t travel, but ours do.”
“We go down there [to Gosford] and I am pretty sure you can ask around that Newcastle fans down there are a lot louder than the 'Marinators', as they call themselves.”
“Hutcho’s [Hutchinson] a well-liked guy around the league and 221 appearances, that’s a record and congratulations to him.”
Regan continued: “It’s important that we go out there and play for our fans. We’re going to have the loyal ones in the Stadium and hopefully they can make a lot of noise.”
“We’ve been fighting hard and the last three weeks more than anything have shown that we want to fight. We owe our fans, so this Saturday we start repaying their faith.”
“It’s about time that we start to get results and I think it’s a good time to get the Central Coast Mariners.”
“It’s a big game [and] if we can get the win we’ll be within two points of them and striking distance. After all the turmoil that’s surrounded our club, to beat the local rivals and get a win would be huge for us.”
“We’re playing for ourselves, we’re playing for the club, we’re playing for our fans, we’re playing for our family,” Regan said.
Tickets for the match are available here.
Newcastle Jets squad vs. Central Coast Mariners: 1. Jess VANSTRATTAN (Gk), 2. Scott NEVILLE, 3. Taylor REGAN, 8. Zenon CARAVELLA, 10. Travis COOPER, 12. Sam GALLAGHER, 13. Edson MONTANO, 16. Jacob PEPPER (C), 18. Allan WELSH, 19. Mitch COOPER, 20. Ben KENNEDY (Gk), 21. Ki-je LEE, 22. Daniel MULLEN, 26. Nicholas COWBURN, 27. Radovan PAVICEVIC, 28. Braedyn CROWLEY
Ins: 10. Travis COOPER (promoted), 28. Braedyn CROWLEY (promoted)
Outs: 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI (suspended – 1 week), 11. Andrew HOOLE (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 15. Joshua BARRESI (knee – season), 17. James VIRGILI (ankle – 6 weeks) "
Saturday 28 February 2015
Match: Newcastle Jets vs. Central Coast Mariners – Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 19
Venue: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Television: Live on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio: Live on ABC Grandstand & 1233 ABC Newcastle
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #F3Derby #NTUA