Newcastle stand-in Captain last week, Tarek Elrich says tonight’s trial against Bonnyrigg in Sydney’s west is another chance for the 2011/12 squad to familiarise themselves with new player combinations, as the A-League club enters stage two of its pre season preparations.
Newcastle stand-in Captain last week, Tarek Elrich says tonight-s trial against Bonnyrigg in Sydney-s west is another chance for the 2011/12 squad to familiarise themselves with new player combinations, as the A-League club enters stage two of its pre season preparations.
The Jets were impressive in torrential rain against the Sutherland last week but relaxed in the latter stages to let the Sharks back into the match - a factor Newcastle has addressed at training.
“When you play against trial sides you need to stay switched on for 90 minutes,” he said.
“Last week we played a first half team and a second half team. Overall we performed well. We created chances and scored goals which gave us a good indication of what we are capable of.”
“We-ve been working hard on our fitness and it was a good effort to hold a two point advantage for most of the trial.”
“Having said that, Sutherland is a quality side and when you are trying different combinations and a quality team gets a roll on it can be difficult to defend every attacking effort.”
While tonight-s hit out will feature some of the strongest Jets combinations since commencing this year-s trial matches, Elrich says he expects some of the younger players will have their opportunity to impress Coach Branko Culina.
“Trials are a great test of how a team is progressing and Branko will be looking to test a number of playmaking options.”
“Some of those combinations may include younger players getting their chance to mix it with the more experienced boys which will be a great opportunity for them to show Branko what they are capable of.”
As one of Newcastle-s longest serving players, the right midfielder has seen his share of pre seasons and admits the 2011 / 2012 squad is more buoyant than previous years.
“This is my first injury free pre season and one of the first I can remember when most of the squad has been available.”
“Full credit must go to our training staff. Our pre seasons are extremely long and it is very easy for players to get bored.”
“This year they-ve kept it interesting with a range of different training options from swimming to cycling and the players have responded well.”
Tonight-s match kicks off from 7pm at Bonnyrigg White Eagles Sports Club.