A-League: Jets coach happy with hit out despite going down to Sydney

STRONG: Ronny Vargas was one of the Jets' best in a 2-1 loss to Sydney. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
STRONG: Ronny Vargas was one of the Jets' best in a 2-1 loss to Sydney. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

JETS coach Ernie Merrick had his first look at Sydney’s new foreigner legion in a 2-1 loss at Leicharddt oval on Wednesday from which he took more positives than negatives.

Former Reading striker Adam Le Fronde scored both Sydney goals and Dutch international Siem De Jong and defender Jop van Der Linden also started in a near full strength outfit.

Le Fronde put the Sky Blues ahead in the 12th minute, curling a shot past the outstretched hand of keeper Glen Moss.

Angus Thurgate levelled on the half hour after an assist from Daniel Georgievski.

Le Fronde then converted from the penalty spot in the 54th minute after he went over on the edge of  the box.

The Jets were without Dimi Petratos (ankle), Ben Kantarovski (calf)  and Roy O’Donovan (knee).

Jason Hoffman started up front, Matt Ridenton joined Steve Ugarkovic at the base of midfield and Thurgate was used wide on the right.

“We had four to five players out but it was still a really good hit out at the right time of year for us,” Merrick said. “Jason was outstanding up front in a central role. He was unlucky not to score due to a couple of great saves by Andrew Redmayne. Mitch Austin had another run, his second run in 12 months, and is improving every week. Angus Thurgate was quite outstanding. Our backline was solid with the second goal being a dubious penalty. We created every bit as many chances as they did.”

Merrick was also happy with the way the midfield functioned with Matthew Ridenton playing alongside Steve Ugarkovic.

“They ran the show with Ronny in support up front,” Merrick said. “They played the ball into Ronny really well. Ronny was delivering it to the strikers and it was far better than the past couple of games.” 

The Jets have a trial with Edgeworth pencilled in for Saturday week before a final hit out against Wanderers at Maitland on September 29.

“Dimi is virtually over his injury and Lachlan Jackson is close to 100 per cent,” Merrick said. “We didn’t play Roy.” 

Brazilian striker Jair will train with the squad for the first time on Friday and do “double sessions for the next couple of weeks”.

Meanwhile, Aurelio Vidmar is returning to Adelaide United as the A-League club's director of football.

And the Reds have appointed Nathan Kosmina, son of ex-coach John Kosmina, as chief executive officer after being acting CEO for the past year.

Vidmar was Adelaide's inaugural captain and also the Reds' coach from 2007-10 before joining the Australian set-up, where he had stints as a Socceroos assistant and coach of the under-23 national team.

"It means a lot (to come back), it has been a massive part of my playing and coaching career," Vidmar said.