Zadkovich: Round 1 can’t come soon enough

Ruben Zadkovich says anticipation for the Jets season opener against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium is reaching fever pitch.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets captain Ruben Zadkovich says anticipation for the Jets season opener against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium is reaching fever pitch a week out from the contest.

The Jets had their final hit out before Round 1 in the form of an intra-club trial match at Ray Watt Oval on Thursday.

The squad was divided into two teams, with both sides cancelling each other out in a 0-0 stalemate.

“It was the last game before the start of the season and it was a good hit-out,” Zadkovich said.

“We got to work on a few things and there is a lot of competition for places heading into Round 1.

“When you train against people everyday, you start to work out their strengths and their weaknesses and that makes it a lot harder to score against your own players than other teams, but it also showed that defensively we-re quite sound.”

Zadkovich said seeing a strong turnout at Thursday-s intra-club match and the Jets- Member Events held that afternoon had given the playing squad a lift before the start of the season.

“It was nice that we had some die-hard supporters here today and I think that probably gives everyone a bit of the lift,” Zadkovich explained.

“We-re all looking forward to playing in front of big crowds and that first game against Sydney FC is going to be pretty special.

“It-s always good to get off to a good start, but make no mistake, it-s a big game.

“We-re the underdogs and we know that and we-ll have to go out there and play with the right character and right spirit if we-re going to get a result.

“It-s a game that we-re certainly looking forward to and it can-t come soon enough.”

Zadkovich said he is confident the squad assembled by the Jets can make a strong impact in the A-League this season.

“All the boys have impressed me, their attitudes have been great and we-re all just looking forward to the start of the season,” Zadkovich said.

“I think we-ve got quite a strong squad, there-s a lot of depth. Last year it was a little bit rushed in pre-season, especially with Emile who came late to the team and that changed the way we wanted to play.

“This year I feel really settled and I think the team is going to go really well early on.”