A-League: Jets pre-season camp in Spain hits turbulence

ON THE BALL: Joe Champness is marked by Nikolai Topor-Stanley during a drill at the Jets training camp in Spain.
ON THE BALL: Joe Champness is marked by Nikolai Topor-Stanley during a drill at the Jets training camp in Spain.

The Newcastle Jets pre-season camp in Spain has hit turbulence after a change in schedule has forced two  friendlies to be altered.

In a first for an A-League club, the Jets were to play three Spanish sides, including La Liga outfit Getafe, during an 11-day stay at the Pinatar Arena Football Centre.

However, the matches against Getafe and Segunda B side Real Murcia have been axed. The clash against Cartagena FC, which was to be played Saturday night, has been moved to Friday.

The Jets are in talks with two Middle Eastern clubs, also based in the San Pedro del Pinatar region, to play  two games.

“We’ve had to make a couple of changes to the original schedule to accommodate player availability for our opposition,” Jets football operation manager Joel Griffiths said. “We’re just finalising dates and times before making an official announcement on our new opposition. “Managing a schedule on a tour such as this can be a delicate process, making one change can force several which unfortunately means our games against Real Murcia and Getafe FC won’t be going ahead. 

“We’ll be playing against teams also training in the region for pre-season, a real benefit of being based at Pinatar Arena Football Centre. We’re surrounded by some really strong sides who are all looking for friendly fixtures and we’ve identified a couple of teams who we’d like to play – with a preference for those also based within the AFC. Playing against these sort of teams is going to expose the players to teams they may face if we qualify for the Asian Champions League.”