Young Jets go all out for victory

Newcastle Jets Youth Team coach Craig Deans has today named a strong 17-man squad to take on the Melbourne Victory Youth Team this Saturday, 15 November at Bob Jane Stadium.

Newcastle Jets Youth Team coach Craig Deans has today named a strong 17-man squad to take on the Melbourne Victory Youth Team this Saturday, 15 November at Bob Jane Stadium.

This weekend-s FIFA Match Day break has allowed Hyundai A-League players the opportunity to gain valuable game time in the National Youth League (NYL). Deans- squad consequently includes first-team regulars Adam Griffiths, Matt Thompson, Kaz Patafta, Shaun Ontong and returning Qantas Young Socceroo trio Ben Kantarovski, Marko Jesic and Jason Naidovski.

After the opening seven rounds of the inaugural NYL competition, the young Jets currently sit in fifth position, six points adrift of fourth spot and in need of an away win against the seventh-placed Victory.

The youngsters recorded their first win in fantastic fashion some three weeks ago in a 4-0 demolition of local rivals the Central Coast Mariners Youth Team at Bluetongue Stadium; a result the team is clearly going to great lengths to replicate this Saturday.

However, when Newcastle and Melbourne met at EnergyAustralia Stadium earlier this season it was the Victory who came out on top thanks to a late strike to Nathan Elasi, who gave the visitors a hard-fought 1-0 win.

Deans believes that the Victory, whose squad includes the likes of Nick Ward, Leigh Broxham and Mitchell Langerak, will pose stern opposition to his team.

“I think that Melbourne look to have a good squad, fairly similar to the one that beat us one-nil last time. Despite the fact that we-ve got a lot of older players in the team, I think it will still be a great challenge for us,” he said.

“Our overage players need to set an example for the younger ones in the team. For the younger guys out there it should prove to be a good learning experience to play a competitive game alongside some of the club-s more experienced players.”

“It-s obviously another way that the boys can become better players, by mixing it with the older guys, and with the team that we have available we can potentially put in a very good performance.”

As for the remainder of the league, Deans believes that his side still has some work to do in order to force their way into the top two, but isn-t looking that far ahead as yet.

“Judging by results, I think that Sydney look quite impressive and have set the standard so far. I think the rest of the teams, including us, are really now looking to push the sides at the top. That-s a fair way away for us at this stage, so we just need to concentrate on this game, which is an important one for us,” Deans explained.

Match Details: Saturday, 15 November Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets Bob Jane Stadium, Albert Park, Melbourne Kick-off: 4:00pm AEDT Referee: Alex Azcurra

Melbourne Victory squad: Mijo MARINOVIC (gk), Robbie WYNNE, Matthew FOSCHINI, Steve PANTELIDIS (OA), Fabio DI LIZIA, Cameron DRAKE, Aziz BEHICH, Stephen HATZIKOSTAS, Dimitri HATZIMOURATIS, Mathew THEODORE, Damir LOKVANCIC, Mifit BOJKU, Leigh BROXHAM, Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), Nick WARD (OA)

Newcastle Jets squad: Jordan GRIFFITHS (gk), Ben KENNEDY (gk), Marko JESIC, Jason NAIDOVSKI, Jarrad ROSS, Jesse PINTO, Brodie MOOY, Jon GRIFFITHS, Jesper HAKANSSON (OA), Antun KOVACIC (OA), Ben KANTAROVSKI, Shaun ONTONG, Kaz PATAFTA, Matt THOMPSON (OA), Adam GRIFFITHS (OA), Matt HARPER, Adrian KARAKOLEVSKI *Two to be omitted