Newcastle Jets midfielder Wayne Brown believes the chance to play against three relatively unknown opponents during the club’s pre-season tour of China can help the squad become a more complete unit as Hyundai A-League season 12 approaches.
Speaking from Sydney International Airport prior to the team’s departure to Asia, Brown said that learning to adapt in-play against sides that the Jets have never faced would assist in the squad’s progression.
“It’s always nice to play against different football cultures and to see what different standards leagues around the world are at,” Brown said. “It’s a good opportunity for us to test ourselves and hopefully put some of our work from training into matches.”
“It’s always a challenge when you play against new teams as you don’t know what to expect from them. It’s good for players to work them [opponents] out on the pitch, it makes us a better team to be able to deal with these situations in case they get chucked at us during the season.”
“We’re looking forward to it [China] and hopefully we can get some decent results and decent performances.”
Brown admitted that when he signed for the Jets he had no idea that a pre-season trip to China was a possibility, but said he, his teammates and the Club were ready to embrace the opportunity.
The Jets spent four days on tour in Tamworth earlier this month thanks to Greater Bank, and Brown believes the China trip will serve to swell the camaraderie and culture building within the squad.
“The trip is another opportunity for the boys to gel together both on and off the pitch,” he said. “We have three games in ten days, so we are going to benefit from it fitness wise.”
“I am looking forward to the experience of going to China for the first time.”
Perhaps the only downside of traveling to Asia in pre-season for Brown will be being away from his young family in Newcastle.
“I think that’s going to be the toughest part for me,” Brown said of being away from his family. “I think this is going to be one of the longest times that I have spent away from my family in the last few years.”
“We have got Skype and will be messaging all the time, and I will be giving them a call every day to read him [Orlando] a book and see him.”
Newcastle Jets will face Liaoning Whowin FC of the Chinese Super League in Huludao, China, on Saturday night. Kick-off is at 7:30pm local time (9:30pm AEST).