IT will be a special occasion, one Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard believes is worthy of a special performance.
The Jets host defending premiers Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.
The clash is a part of the A-League’s ‘Remembrance Round’ and a short service commemorating a century since the end of World War I will be held before kick-off.
City of Newcastle RSL sub-branch president Ken Fayle will read the Remembrance Day Ode before a bugler plays The Last Post.
“It is a special occasion,” Boogaard said. “To have it on such a big occasion, a home game against Sydney, hopefully there is a big turn out. The service before the game will be something special. We are lucky in this country to be able to live the way we do. It’s important to acknowledge the service men and women who are in the area. People have sacrificed their lives or are still suffering for the cause.”
Fayle, who will host an official ceremony on Sunday, welcomed the opportunity to mark the occasion at an A-League game.
“A lot of people who will be at the stadium will be related in some way or the other to somebody who has fought in World War I or World War II or in any of the other conflicts,” he said. ”Newcastle has always been strong supporters of the ex-service organisations and it’s great that the Jets can show their appreciation and support in the same way.”
The Jets have shown plenty of fight but are still searching for their first win.
Ben Kantarovski comes in at the base of midfield for Matthew Ridenton (calf strain) in the only change to the side which succumbed 1-0 to Melbourne Victory.
Lachlan Jackson, who was involved two of the Jets’ best chances against Victory, will again start at left back and said the significance of Remembrance Day would ensure they are primed.
“It’s an important round for us and the community in general,” he said. “We can look to those who have served their country and deliver a good performance for them.”
A centre-half for the majority of his career, Jackson didn’t expect to start the opening four games at left back. His opportunity came after Johnny Koutroumbis was diagnosed with stage one Thyroid Cancer. The 20-year-old had surgery last month to remove the tumour and has resumed training.
“Johnny was was a shocking loss to all of us but I guess that opens opportunities for others,” Jackson said. “Playing left back is a bit different. Having Nikolai Topor-Stanley next to me makes it a lot easier. I get a bit of a nose bleed sometimes but Ernie Merrick wants me to get forward as much as possible. Being a centre-half, you want to be defensively sound first and taking a bit more of a risk going forward is something I’m getting used to.”
Sydney FC are unbeaten and fresh from a 3-0 win over Melbourne City.
“Sydney are a good team and its’ always a really competitive match,” Jackson said. “They always bring a lot of energy and we need to match that from the first minute.”
“We have created a bucket load of chances in the last few games. We haven’t conceded too many goals and been aggressive with our play. If we can translate that into goals we will make our way up the table.”