Approximately 50 Newcastle & Hunter footballing greats will form a guard of honour when Newcastle Jets stride onto the Hunter Stadium surface alongside Adelaide United this Sunday.
For another year, Newcastle’s ‘Old Boys’ will congregate for a Hyundai A-League game to share stories of years, games, strikes and saves gone by, and on this occasion -- for some, at least -- to watch their sons play at the elite level.
Well-known Newcastle football identity Andy Roberts, who made 234 appearances for Newcastle on the national stage, says Brett Cowburn (father of Jets defender Nick Cowburn) and Michael Boogaard (father of Adelaide defender Nigel Boogaard) will be among the group of highly regarded ex-players at Hunter Stadium this weekend.
“It’s terrific,” Roberts said of Cowburn and Boogaard senior being able to watch their sons play on Old Boys Day. “They’re great father-son teams.”
“There hasn’t been too many father-son combinations over the years -- I can only think of Daniel McBreen and Jim McBreen as the other one.”
“It’s a special time.”
Roberts said the group of group of former KB United, Newcastle Rosebud, Newcastle Breakers, Newcastle United, and Newcastle Jets players would commence their catch-up roughly three hours before kick-off on Sunday.
“We’re going to get together at the Duke of Wellington around two o’clock and just have a few quite drinks and a bit of a chat,” Roberts told www.NewcastleJets.com.au.
“From there we’ll come over to the Stadium just before kick-off, form the guard of honour for the players to come out and then just take in the match after that.”
“Since 1978 and the halcyon days of KB United there has been over 300 players play for Newcastle and represent Newcastle at National League level,” he said.
While Roberts played most of his football at the old Breakers Stadium at Birmingham Gardens, standing on the Hunter Stadium surface speaking to media on Wednesday still brought back special memories.
“I have got fond memories of this ground,” he said. “We played in a preliminary final against Perth back in 2002.”
“There was 19,000 people here and the atmosphere was incredible. Just the noise the people generated was fantastic and it lifted you as a player.”
Roberts knows the Newcastle side of 2015 face a tough ask against the rampaging Reds, but believes with good local support behind them, some belief, and the right application, a win over Adelaide is possible.
“There’s no reason why we can’t [beat Adelaide],” he said. “The Jets had a good win last week against the Wanderers [and] it could have been more.”
“But they’re a young side at the minute, Newcastle. Adelaide are at the top of the game, so they’ll [the Jets] have to be at their best to beat them, but definitely they can do that.”
“I think we just have to try and limit their possession and the amount of time they have on the ball,” he said.
Newcastle Jets vs. Adelaide United – Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 23
Date: Sunday 29 March 2015
Stadium: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Television: Live on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio: Live on ABC Grandstand & 1233 ABC Newcastle
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #NEWvADL @NewcastleJetsFC