Jets keen to let fly at each other again

IT may not be state against state but the Jets’ pre-season is definitely shaping as mate against mate.

The A-League club confirmed yesterday a second intra-club hit-out against their youth XI within a week.

On the same day Wellington Phoenix revealed they would play a trial against Newcastle on August 18.

Ex-Newcastle striker Jeremy Brockie signed with Phoenix in the off-season.


VIDEO: James Gardiner speaks to Jets assistant coach Craig Deans. Video by Jonathan Carroll.

The Jets’ first XI will go head-to-head with the youth team at Ray Watt Oval tomorrow at 10am.

The internal clash replaces a trial against a NSW Premier League club in Sydney.

Last Wednesday, the Jets youth team, boosted by the inclusion of Mark Birighitti, Craig Goodwin, Taylor Regan and Marko Jesic, trumped their more esteemed colleagues 2-1 in an at times heated battle at Hunter Valley Grammar School.

Tempers boiled over late in the first half when Ruben Zadkovich and Regan clashed and Zadkovich was sent to the sideline to cool his heels.

Assistant coach Craig Deans expects a similar State of Origin intensity tomorrow.

‘‘It was a good game last week up at Hunter Valley Grammar and hopefully that will be the case again on Wednesday,’’ Deans said.

‘‘It is a good opportunity for the so-called starting XI to show they are the starting XI.

‘‘They are professional footballers and should want to win every time they play.’’ The Zadkovich and Regan incident aside, the clash was played at a high intensity and pace with no one leaving anything to spare.

‘‘That is the sort of environment we want,’’ Deans said.

‘‘We don’t want 14 people who want to play and nine here to make up the numbers. We want 23 people who want to play.

‘‘Gary keeps saying it: you need to have conflict within the group. It just needs to be in the right manner.’’

Wellington will play the Jets in Weston on August 18 on the way to India, where they have four games scheduled.

The trial will be the first time Brockie has returned to the region since moving on at the end of last season.

Before then the Jets meet Northern NSW select on August 8.

The match was set down for Jack McLaughlan Oval but issues with the lighting have forced it to be moved to a new venue yet to be determined.

The Jets are due to kick off their A-League campaign against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on October 7.

Deans hoped one of the two places left on the Jets roster would be filled in the next couple of weeks and conceded the sooner they started playing trials against A-League opposition the better.

‘‘We have had a solid 10 weeks of training now and four games, which has allowed us to work on basic stuff,’’ he said.

‘‘We need to be working under a bit more pressure.

‘‘We need to see how we cope being under pressure for 20 to 30 minutes of football in a half, see how we react to that.

‘‘That is when we will probably get a better idea of the character of some people and how they react together.’’

For now, the Jets’ clash with Brisbane Roar in Tamworth on September 1 is their only other friendly against an A-League club.

‘‘There are two or three other games we are still waiting on confirmation for,’’ Dean said.

‘‘Everyone has feelers out for games. Ideally we would like to play four or five A-League teams.’’

Jets coach Gary van Egmond had flagged the possibility of a short tour to Asia, but Deans was unsure whether that was proceeding.

Adam D’Apuzzo has become the sixth former Newcastle Jets player to sign with new club Western Sydney Wanderers.

D’Apuzzo, a member of Newcastle’s 2007-08 championship team, played 102 games for the Jets and joined fellow teammates Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Tarek Elrich, Mark Bridge, Ante Covic and Labinot Haliti at the Wanderers.

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