Jets’ set for red hot Victory

The Newcastle Jets face a tough battle this Saturday night when they take on the table-topping Melbourne Victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets face a tough battle this Saturday night when they take on the table-topping Melbourne Victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Victory have been in scintillating form in this season-s Hyundai A-League competition, posting 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss to lead the league after 7 Rounds. Meanwhile, the Jets are looking to improve on their home record this season, with the defending Hyundai A-League Champions having drawn all 3 of their fixtures in Newcastle.

The last time these two teams met, the game ended in a landslide 5-0 win to Melbourne at the Telstra Dome in Round 3. This time, Gary van Egmond has redemption on his mind in what will also be his 50th game at the helm since taking over as Jets Head coach in October 2006.

“The challenge is great. We-re playing against the league-leaders, the team that-s been widely tipped to win the competition. So I know the boys are really looking forward to it, it-s probably been etched in their memory the last time we played them and they-re well and truly up for the game and looking for revenge.”

“I-m very confident that our team is travelling a lot better than when we last played them down at the Telstra Dome. It-s going to be a real challenge for us, it-s going to show us where we-re at,” van Egmond said.

The Jets- mentor was today quick to rule out his team playing for a draw and insisted that his chargers would be seeking all 3 points from the clash with the league leaders.

“You play to win. If you play to draw, if you get a goal scored against you, or if you do score a goal you tend to go into your shell a little bit. You play to win. You score one, you score two, you score three, you score four; you keep on going until the final whistle because you play to win. We never approach a game in a manner that we-re happy with a draw,” he said.

In a boost for the Jets, Adam Griffiths has returned to training with the team and may return to the fray this week, along with Socceroo Jade North and youngsters James Holland, Jason Naidovski and Ben Kantarovski who return from international duties.

Joel Griffiths, last season-s Johnny Warren Medalist and Golden Boot winner, will have to complete tomorrow morning-s final training session at EnergyAustralia Stadium to be eligible for selection for Saturday after sustaining a hamstring injury 3 weeks ago.

“This morning he (Joel) got through the sprints session, he got through the speed session and he got through some change of direction, and we had a game and he got through that again,” van Egmond added. “We need to see him get through at one-hundred percent.”

Match Details:
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Energy Australia Stadium
Local kick off 7:00pm
Referee. Matthew Breeze

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 1233 ABC Newcastle and SEN (Melbourne) 1116am.

Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (c), 5. James HOLLAND, 6. Jesper HAKANSSON, 7. Kaz PATAFTA, 8. Matt THOMPSON, 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 10. Jin-Hyung SONG, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Adam D-APUZZO, 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 23. Edmundo ZURA, 24. Marko JESIC, 25. Daniel PIORKOWSKI.
* two to be omitted

In: 5. James Holland (returns from Qantas Young Socceroos duties), 2. Adam Griffiths (returns from injury), 9. Joel Griffiths (returns from injury), 16. Ben Kantarovski (returns from Qantas Joeys duties).
Out: 18. Noel Spencer, Antun Kovacic.
Unavailable: 14. Shaun Ontong (ankle – indefinite), 15. Jason Hoffman (knee – season).

Melbourne Victory Squad: Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (Captain), 3.Michael THWAITE, 7.Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.Danny ALLSOPP, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Jose Luis LOPEZ, 18. Leigh BROXHAM, 19.Evan BERGER, 20.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 22. Nick WARD.
* one to be omitted

Out: Lou ACEVSKI (loan completed), Steven PACE
Unavailable: Ney FABIANO (suspended)

The Newcastle Jets Youth Team will play their first home game this Saturday when they take on Melbourne Victory Youth Team as a curtain raiser to the senior team game. Kick-off for this National Youth League, Round 4 clash is scheduled for 4:15pm.

Tickets for this exciting double-header are available from www.proticket.com.au, or by calling (02) 4915 2345.