Jets pushing each other in build-up to season


Scott Neville says competition for places in the Jets’ starting XI is heating up as they get closer to the season starting.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Scott Neville says competition for places in the Jets starting XI is getting fiercer with less than three weeks remaining until the start of the A-League season.

Having started in the vast majority of the Jets- pre-season fixtures to date, Neville appears to be one of only a few Jets players who has nailed down a spot for the round one clash against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on October 7.

Neville said the rivalry for places in the starting team was helping to spur on the entire Jets squad in training.

“That-s what we want throughout the Club. We want two players for each position who are fighting each week to see who starts,” he said.

“It-s not a guaranteed XI and it-s good that no one really knows if they-re starting or not, so everyone is trying their hardest every session to make sure they-re in the team.”

The 23-year-old right-back did his chances of cementing a place for Newcastle-s opening game no harm by scoring a stunning long-range goal in the Jets- 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.

“I won the ball off the guy in front of me, it bounced up and Griff (Ryan Griffiths) just told me to hit it,” Neville said.

“I hit it and it flew in, so it was a pretty good feeling I guess.

“I-m always willing to try it, but I don-t think it-s come off too often in the past so that was probably one in a million.

“I try it at training all the time but it doesn-t really come off. It was good to do it in a game and hopefully I can do it in the season when it-s a bit more important.”

Having started in late May, the Jets are nearing the end of a long and arduous pre-season, which Neville believes will hold them in good stead for the season proper.

“Pre-season has gone really well for everyone,” he said.

“We-re still not quite where we want to be, but I think we-re really on the way to getting there.

“Personally I-m pretty happy with the way I-ve been going. I-ve just got to keep progressing, keep developing and hopefully that can put me in good stead for the season.”

The Jets had a closed trial scheduled against Sydney FC this Saturday at Budgewoi. The venue has cancelled the game.