Jets squad battle it out in intra-club trial


The Jets Youth Team defeated the Jets First XI 2-1 in an intra-club trial match at Hunter Valley Grammar on Wednesday.

The Newcastle Jets Youth Team defeated the Newcastle Jets First XI 2-1 in an intra-club trial match at Hunter Valley Grammar School on Wednesday morning.

The fixture was used as an opportunity to give all members of the Jets first team and youth squad the chance to get some extra game time under their belts.

Trialist Mark Burchill had the opening chance of the match for the First XI when he found himself in a one on one situation with Mark Birighitti, however it was the goalkeeper who came up trumps with a sharp reflex save to deny the Scotsman.

The Jets Youth responded quickly with Mitch Oxborrow being put through on goal. The midfielder hit a powerful shot that forced Ben Kennedy to palm the ball over the bar.

The slightly smaller Hunter Valley Grammar playing field, combined with the intense defensive pressure applied by both sides, meant there was little time on the ball for both sets of players.

Despite this, Craig Goodwin was able find space on the edge of the area and let rip with a powerful strike that brought a wonderful diving save out of Kennedy.

A short time later, the Jets First XI hit the front after Connor Chapman was caught in possession and turned the ball over. James Virgili capitalised on the defensive error and calmly finished past Birighitti to make it 1-0.

Ruben Zadkovich almost doubled the advantage for the First XI when he worked his way into the box with some sharp footwork. His shot took a deflection and was only kept out by the legs of Birighitti.

The Jets Youth were back on level terms moments later after Kale Bradbery was brought down in the box. Playing in his first game of the pre-season, Marko Jesic stepped up to the spot and sent Kennedy the wrong way to make it 1-1.

Right on the stroke of half time, Andrew Hoole put the Jets Youth team ahead 2-1 after he linked up with Jesic on the right flank. Jesic cut the ball back to Hoole who had continued his run into the box and he drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

A number of changes were made after the break with some players swapping sides and more youth team players being brought into the action.

Adam Taggart was one of those players who was introduced into the fray in the second half and the attacker wasted no time getting involved. He looked to have put the Jets First XI back on level terms when he finished of a deft through ball from Burchill, only to have it ruled out for offside.

Minutes later, Taggart found the back of the net again, this time heading home a Ritter cross, but once again the goal was disallowed with the ball having been ruled to have crossed the by-line.

Taggart and Ritter continued to link-up well down the left hand side and Taggart showed good speed to get through on goal in the dying minutes, only to hit his shot straight at Jack Duncan. The rebound fell at the feet of Burchill but he blazed the follow-up shot over the crossbar from close range and the score remained 2-1 in favour of the Jets Youth.

Match Details
Jets Youth 2 (Jesic, Hoole)
Jets First XI 1 (Virgili)

Starting line-ups (first half)

Jets First XI: Ben Kennedy (GK), Scott Neville, Tiago Calvano, Josh Mitchell, Dominik Ritter, Ben Kantarovski, Ruben Zadkovich, Jacob Pepper, Mark Burchill, Ryan Griffiths and James Virgili.

Jets Youth: Mark Birighitti (GK), Andrew Hoole, Connor Chapman, Taylor Regan, Craig Goodwin, Joshua Brillante, Mitch Cooper, Mitch Oxborrow, Marko Jesic, Dino Fajkovic and Kale Bradbery.

Starting line-ups (second half)

Jets First XI: Mark Birighitti (GK), Joshua Brillante, Connor Chapman, Josh Mitchell, Dominik Ritter, Ben Kantarovski, Mitch Cooper, Jobe Wheelhouse, Marko Jesic, Mark Burchill and Adam Taggart.

Jets Youth: Jack Duncan (GK), Andrew Hoole, Mason Campbell, Sam Gallaway, Craig Goodwin, Taylor Regan, Abe Wheelhouse, Michael Finlayson, Luke Remington, Josh Small and Kale Bradbery.

A big thank you to Hunter Valley Grammar School for hosting the Jets.