Thompson set for home farewell
Friday night's game against Adelaide United is likely to be Matt Thompson and Jason Hoffman's final home game for the club.
Five seasons, four finals series, one championship and an impending tilt at another.
It-s been quite a period of success for the Newcastle Jets and, in turn, captain Matt Thompson, who has been with the club throughout the formative years of the Hyundai A-League.
However, Thompson and teammate Jason Hoffman will depart the Hunter Valley next season to join start-up side Melbourne Heart, making tomorrow evening-s round 27 clash against Adelaide United their final one in Jets colours at EnergyAustralia Stadium.
“I-ve been here for five years, this is a second home to me and I-ve enjoyed my time here. Like I said before I definitely want to go out a winner, it looks like this won-t be my last game this year but it looks like it might be my last one here.”
“So it would be nice to go out with three points and obviously better our chances of pushing up the ladder, but as far as we-re concerned we-ve got a few games ahead of us and I-m just looking forward to tomorrow night,” the skipper said.
Indeed, Friday-s match will complete the full circle that Thompson has come since joining the Jets five years ago, with Adelaide having been Newcastle-s first opponent in Hyundai A-League competition back on Friday, 26 August 2005.
During this time, Thompson has become one of the most popular figures at the club and today explained that he is keen to repay the support shown by the Novocastrian faithful.
“We want to go out there and show the fans that we mean business and we want to show them appreciation for the year. It wasn-t exactly a great year, there have been ups and downs definitely and we want to show our thanks for them coming out every game,” said the 27-year-old.
Meanwhile, injury is likely to rule out Sean Rooney (calf), Nikolai Topor-Stanley (hip), Jobe Wheelhouse (groin) and Jin-Hyung Song (hamstring), whilst striker Labinot Haliti will sit out the match through suspension.
Coming into the squad to cover for these losses is likely to be Hoffman and two of the Jets- shining lights in the National Youth League this season; Mirjan Pavlovic and Scott Balderson.
Despite the injury toll, Thompson will once again lead the way for the Jets in what is sure to be a fitting home farewell for the in-form fan favourite.
“I-m sure we-ll find out what-s going on tomorrow (in terms of selection) but whatever team goes out there is going to want a win,” he stated.
Tickets for this EnergyAustralia encounter are available from www.proticket.com.au or by calling (02) 4915 2345. Gates open at 5pm, with the National Youth League match between the two sides kicking-off at 5:15pm and the Hyundai A-League action starting at 8pm.
Match Details: Friday 12 February 2010 Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Local Kick-Off: 8.00pm Referee: Gerard Parsons
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, 1 HD and Sky Sport 2 (delayed). Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is.
Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 9. Sasho PETROVSKI, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 14. Michael BRIDGES, 16. Jason HOFFMAN, 22. Kaz PATAFTA, 26. Ali ABBAS, 27. Scott BALDERSON, 29. Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 30. Dion SHAW (gk)
In: Jason HOFFMAN (promoted), Scott BALDERSON (promoted), Mirjan PAVLOVIC (promoted)
Out: Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (hip - 1 week), Jin-Hyung SONG (hamstring - 1 week), Labinot HALITI (suspended - 1 week)
Unavailable: Jobe WHEELHOUSE (groin - 1/2 weeks), Shaun ONTONG (Achilles - indefinite), Sean ROONEY (calf - 1 week), Fabio VIGNAROLI (knee - indefinite), Marko JESIC (knee - indefinite), Neil YOUNG (gk) (face - 1/2 weeks)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7. Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Kristian SARKIES, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11.Lloyd OWUSU, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 17.Michael MARRONE, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Mark RUDAN, 24.Marcos FLORES *3 to be omitted*
In: ALEMAO (promoted), Kristian SARKIES (promoted), Mark RUDAN (returns from injury)
Unavailable: Joe COSTA (knee - long term injury list), CRISTIANO (knee - indefinite)
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 15): Newcastle Jets wins 5, Adelaide United wins 6 (4 draws)