The Club’s National Youth League (NYL) squad for the upcoming 2018/19 season has been finalised.
The squad is a fairly settled one, and the bulk of the players have been together for the past nine months.
There are a few new faces in the mix though – Riley Smith and Tom Curran have come through the Club’s Academy, while Cole Mutton joins the Club from Sydney United 58.
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The remainder of the squad has been together since the previous NYL season, and have also had time to build rapport during the NPL Northern NSW campaign plus two trips to China for various tournaments.
In the NPL Northern NSW, the Jets finished 7th out of 11 teams. There were a number of good performances along the way – a gutsy 1-0 win over Charlestown in Round 11 and a 2-1 win over Hamilton Olympic in Round 5.
The squad is littered with players who are on Hyundai A-League scholarship contracts: the likes of goalkeeper Noah James, defender Pat Langlois, and midfielder Jack Simmons.
It's also expected that a number of Hyundai A-League squad players will feature throughout the NYL campaign, as they use the matches to gain valuable minutes.
Newcastle Jets NYL coach, Labinot Haliti, said the side is building well ahead of the Sunday 11 November season opener.
“We’ve had two trial matches, Central Coast and Canberra, and they were good performances and good results. Everybody has had a run and comparing where we are now to where we were last season, we’re really well advanced,” Haliti said.
“It’s a confidence thing, but it’s only eight games. You’ve got to get straight into it from the first game. There’s no thinking ‘we’ve got next week, the week after’.
“I like to think that the boys are building a bit of fluency, with the time they’ve spent together. Especially the core of the team, who have been there for a while, guys like Jackson Frendo, Noah [James], Kent [Harrison], Cai [Tipaldo], who have had a full NPL season.
“It’s the first NYL season for guys like Jack [Simmons], Ryan [Goodhew], and it’ll be interesting to see how they go. Some of the boys have played NPL, but against similar players to themselves, it’ll be a good challenge.”
Goalkeepers: Tristan Esquilant, Noah James
Defenders: Cal Gabriel, Tom Beecham, Cole Mutton, Ryan Goodhew, Kieran Hayes
Midfielders: Jack Simmons, Jackson Frendo, Tom Curran, Maki Petratos
Forwards: Kent Harrison, Cai Tipaldo, Riley Smith, Joey O’Connor