Elrich primed for pre-season action

Tarek Elrich is likely to make his long awaited return from a long-term groin injury this Sunday.

Few players in the Newcastle Jets- squad are as excited about the prospect of playing the Brisbane Roar in Port Macquarie this weekend as Tarek Elrich.

The dynamic right-back is likely to make his return from injury this Sunday as the Hunter-based club makes its fifth pre-season journey to the NSW Mid-North Coast in as many years.

However, it hasn-t all been plain sailing in the 23-year-old-s return to the pitch. Off-season surgery to repair a long-term groin injury was further complicated when Elrich felt slight pain after his first few pre-season training sessions.

“At first it was only an eight week break but it-s turned into much longer. I-ve had a few setbacks along the way but I-m just glad to be back training and looking forward to be playing a game with the boys. Hopefully I can get through that and get ready for the start of the season,” he explained.

The Jets departed north this morning to undertake a series of promotional activities in the Hastings in the lead-up to the match as part of the club-s community programs. Elrich and his teammates will conduct school visits and will call-in to the Optus Small Sided Football games played near Port Macquarie Regional Stadium.

Indeed, the affable fan-favourite is well known for his generosity when it comes to these community activities, but Elrich is just as enthusiastic about the Jets- prospects for the forthcoming Hyundai A-League campaign.

“I think we-ve got a great squad this season, we-ve got twenty-plus fit players. There are a lot of spots available, a lot of competition for spots and there are two or three players per position.”

“It-s good to have that competition,” he stated.

Elrich will rejoin the team at a time when the Jets have won all three of their pre-season fixtures to date, including a 2-1 victory over fellow Hyundai A-League side Melbourne Heart, and believes that the winning culture being created at the club bodes well for the future.

“The boys are great, the boys are happy, it-s a happy camp when you-re winning so hopefully we can take that into the start of the season and continue on that winning streak.”

“Training-s a hundred miles an hour and that-s how you like it, people who are training well are obviously getting starts so it-s good to have that competition.”

“I don-t think we-ve really had it that much through the past five seasons so we enjoy it and hopefully it gets us some good results,” he said.