Ruben Zadkovich believes the Jets’ Soccer Sixes victory is a positive platform for the Club to build on ahead of 2013/14.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets captain Ruben Zadkovich believes the Jets- victory at the Singapore Soccer Sixes tournament is a positive platform for the Club to build on ahead of the 2013/14 A-League season.
Zadkovich captained a 10-man Jets squad during the Club-s triumphant maiden appearance at the tournament, which saw them defeat Thai Premier League side Chonburi FC 4-1 in the final.
The Jets returned to pre-season training at Ray Watt Oval on Monday morning after having a week off following their success in Singapore.
Zadkovich said victory in the international six-a-side competition would hold the Jets in good stead as their preparations for the coming A-League season get underway in earnest.
“It was great for team bonding and the games were brilliant as well,” Zadkovich said.
“Anyone who is a footballer loves to play six-a-side tournaments like that because it-s so much fun. It reminds you of being a little kid and playing in gala days.
“The only unfortunate thing about it was that the whole squad wasn-t there, because it was a great trip.
“The boys did really well, we applied ourselves and we won it and I guess that-s the start of something good this season.”
Zadkovich said that winning silverware at Singapore Soccer Sixes would help to foster a ruthless winning mentality within the Jets- playing ranks.
“Everything that you play for, you want to win,” Zadkovich said.
“It-s the same at training today with the teams competing against each other and that-s the way that it should be.
“Having a lot of young guys last season, they want to win of course, but they-re still developing that understanding of how to win and how to close out a game.
“It might be the small things that get you over the line and that competitiveness is something we really need to focus on.
“We-ve got to have that mongrel in us if we really want to go on with it this year.”
Zadkovich said having a solid pre-season will be crucial for the Jets- hopes of having a successful campaign in 2013/14.
“Fitness is obviously something that-s big in Australia, and those top sides like Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers are clearly the fittest teams,” Zadkovich said.
“Last year I always felt like we were fit enough, it was more just about little moments in the games.
“If we go back and watch the games, we were controlling a lot of them and it wasn-t like we weren-t running games out at the end,
“To be honest a lot of the time I felt like we were coming home really strongly.
“We-ll have to look at that and try and improve, but I don-t think that-s the biggest area we need to focus on.
“Mainly the football side of things like decision making and discipline on the field, and by that I mean tracking runners, marking up and things like that.”
Zadkovich said he is confident the Jets will be able to improve on their performances from last season, which saw them narrowly miss out on the finals with a loss to the Wanderers in their final game.
“For the first time in a long time, I was quite keen to get back into pre-season. I felt like we underachieved last year," Zadkovich said.
“We know it-s a long pre-season and we-ve got a lot to work on.
“We really want to start the season well and it-s all going to start from how we apply ourselves in pre-season.
“We-ve got a young side that will take a lot out of last year and I expect us to improve dramatically.
“The nucleus of that squad has stayed and I think that-s really going to benefit us. All we-ve got to do is focus on working hard and improving.
Michael Bridges and Zenon Caravella returned to training for their first session of the pre-season on Monday after being given some extra time off.
Meanwhile, goalkeepers Sebastian Usai and John Solari have both commenced trials with the Jets as the Club looks to fill the third goalkeeper spot on its roster.