Players tested in intra-club trial


The Newcastle Jets ‘First XI’ defeated the Jets ‘Youth Team’ 2-0 in an intra-club trial match on Wednesday morning.

The Newcastle Jets ‘First XI- defeated the Jets ‘Youth Team- 2-0 in an intra-club trial match at Ray Watt Oval on Wednesday morning.

The fixture provided all fit members of the Jets- playing squad with an opportunity to further test themselves under match conditions as the Club continues its preparations for the 2012-13 A-League season.

Jets head coach Gary van Egmond also used the match to trial different combinations and test players in different roles, most notably by playing Tiago Calvano as a holding midfielder throughout the first of three 30-minute thirds.

With both teams featuring members of the Jets’ first team squad, the match started evenly and neither side was able to create any clear-cut chances in the opening 10 minutes.

Playing in the Youth Team, Marko Jesic had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down after he appeared to be brought down in the box by Craig Goodwin.

As time wore on, the First XI began to have the lion-s share of possession and began to create some chances.

Ruben Zadkovich tested Mark Birighitti from long range before Ryan Griffiths drilled a low shot that flashed across the face of goal. However, the scores remained locked at 0-0 after the first period of 30 minutes.

Van Egmond made a number of changes at the interval with the First XI-s James Virgili and Taylor Regan swapping sides with Adam Taggart and Jobe Wheelhouse, while Ben Kennedy and Dino Fajkovic also came on for the Youth Team.

Jacob Pepper had the next big chance of the match when he made a confident run into the box after some nice interplay with Mitch Cooper. Unfortunately for the Youth Team however, Pepper could only hit his shot into the post from a very tight angle.

Taggart looked lively up front for the First XI, constantly getting himself into dangerous positions and forcing some good reflex saves out of Kennedy.

Not to be outdone, Mark Birighitti was also very solid in goals down the other end of the field with a pair of spectacular saves to deny Virgili and later, Alex Kantarovski.

The First XI eventually went ahead courtesy of a Griffiths penalty after Goodwin had been brought down in the box by a lunging tackle from Joshua Brillante. Griffiths sent Kennedy the wrong way with his spot-kick to make it 1-0.

The start of the final 30-minute period saw even more changes with the Youth Team now entirely made up of the Jets- National Youth League squad members.

The First XI continued to keep the ball well and were rewarded when Goodwin beat a pair of defenders before playing a deft through-ball for Taggart.

The young striker showed plenty of composure to dink a neat chip shot over the on-rushing Jack Duncan to seal the 2-0 result.

Dominik Ritter sat out the match with a very minor quadriceps strain, while Michael Bridges was also unavailable due to a minor hamstring strain.

Match details
Jets ‘First XI- 2 (Griffiths, Taggart)
Jets ‘Youth Team- 0

Starting line-ups:
Jets ‘First XI’: Jack Duncan (gk), Craig Goodwin, Josh Mitchell, Taylor Regan, Scott Neville, Tiago Calvano, Ben Kantarovski, Ruben Zadkovich, James Brown, Ryan Griffiths and James Virgili.

Jets ‘Youth Team-: Mark Birighitti (gk), Joshua Brillante, Connor Chapman, Sam Gallaway, Blake Green, Jobe Wheelhouse, Jacob Pepper, Mitch Cooper, Adam Taggart and Marko Jesic.