Van Egmond pleased with application of players

Gary van Egmond says he was pleased with the application shown by the playing squad in Wednesday’s intra-club trial match.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says he was pleased with the application shown by the playing squad in Wednesday-s intra-club trial match at Ray Watt Oval.

The Jets ‘First XI- defeated the Jets ‘Youth Team- 2-0 in the fixture, with van Egmond making a number of personnel and positional changes throughout the match.

“The way they conducted themselves in regards to the game was good,” van Egmond said.

“Sometimes these games can be done and you don-t get exactly what you want out of it, but to their credit they were very good.

“We just wanted to ensure that the competition for everyone is starting to build up.

“Obviously we-ve got next week against the NBN State League Select team, which I-m expecting will be a tougher game than what we had against them last time.

“We need to get everybody working with the intensity there is going to be in the A-League competition proper.

“Obviously it-s not at that (level) right now, but we-re definitely working towards it.”

Van Egmond said he would have liked to see both sides create and convert more goal-scoring opportunities.

“The senior team had some really good opportunities to create chances and obviously controlled the mainstay of the game,” he said.

“That-s probably the one area where we still want to create more clear-cut opportunities in front of goal and again that is about working on combinations and getting people familiar with each other.

“We want to keep on getting better in that front third and get players used to each other's runs and used to each other-s little intricacies of how they play.

“It-s just a matter of more repetition as far as the game is concerned and being more familiar with their game.”

The two sides were fairly evenly matched throughout the game and van Egmond said it was pleasing to see players from both teams putting their best foot forward.

“You want competition within your squad and you want people who are really vying for a spot in that first eleven,” he explained.

“That was the idea of getting the personnel in that we have and keeping some of the personnel that we had prior as well.

“You can see players who have played the mainstay of the games in certain positions so they-ve obviously got the inside running for those spots right at this moment.

“But, it-s still good to see the other ones performing at a level that ensures plenty of competition.”

Van Egmond used the fixture as an opportunity to experiment with regular centre-back Tiago Calvano as a holding midfielder and he said he was happy with what he saw.

“We-ve got plenty of cover as far as the back in concerned and it-s another option that I thought we-d have a look at,” he said.

“What he does is provide a lot of leadership in (the midfield) and he-s a good talker in regards to the information he gives to the other midfielders and forwards in regards to when and when not to press.

“He-s obviously very comfortable on the ball and all-in-all he did well.”