Weifang Cup: Newcastle Jets youth face hot competition in China | photos

A Jets youth team will aim to kick a goal for the club and gain some international experience when they head to China on Thursday for the Weifang Cup.

The side, a combination of the Jets Youth’s under-18 players and the Emerging Jets under-18s, will play group games against China’s Shandong Luneng, Mexican giants Chivas Guadalajara then Belgium’s Club Brugge from Sunday to Wednesday.

The Jets, under the guidance of chief executive and youth coach Lawrie McKinna and assistant Labinot Haliti, will also play two qualifying and ranking matches.

The players will battle temperatures in the high 30s in Weifang, a city of about 10million people halfway between Beijing and Shanghai which has hosted an international youth football tournament since 2006. 

The other group comprises the Chinese under-19 team, FC Tokyo, VfL Wolfsburg and defending champions Desportivo Brasil. 

“Our squad will play five high-class matches against top sides over seven days and be exposed to the demands of travelling and playing abroad,” McKinna said.

Jets owner Martin Lee, who is paying for the trip, will fly the players to his base in Shenzhen for two days before they return home. 

The Jets Youth have brought forward their round-20 NPL game against Lake Macquarie to 8pm on Tuesday at Macquarie Field. 

Meanwhile, two younger Emerging Jets teams will play against the visiting South African Football Academy Plus at Speers Point on Tuesday.

The Emerging Jets under-13s won the final of the MSport Cup against Sydney NPL and representative sides last week.  

  • Jets squad: Patrick Langlois, Tyson Jackson, Finn Parris, Mitchell Dobson, Mark Moric, Kaleb Cox, Angus Thurgate, Riley Smith, Jackson Frendo, Kieran Hayes, Joseph O’Connor, Kent Harrison, Campbell Ross, Tom Curran, Zac Bailey, Solomon Vaiika, Noah James (GK), Tristan Esquilant (GK).