Preview: Jets look to do the double over Wellington

After what seems like almost an eternity, the Newcastle Jets will take the field this Saturday night at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah to face Wellington Phoenix in Round Nine of the Isuzu UTE A-League season.

With COVID causing significant disruption across the A-League competition over the last couple of weeks, our Jets will travel to the neutral venue after having our last two matches indefinitely postponed due to the virus.

The Jets will be eager to get back on the field for what will be their first game of the new year and will be confident of re-joining the winner’s circle after their commanding 4-0 win against the Phoenix last time they met at McDonald Jones Stadium in Round Four.


Date: Saturday 8 January

Kick-off: 5:05 pm

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

How to Watch: Paramount+


Since: 2007

Played: 42

Jets: 14

Wellington: 22

Draw: 6


It’s been a series of false starts over the last couple of weeks for the Jets.

The side was meant to enjoy back-to-back home games at McDonald Jones Stadium over the Christmas period, but with both matches being postponed, the side is now without a game since their Round Five clash against Macarthur FC on which took place on December 19.

On the other side of the ledger, Phoenix’s New Year’s Day clash against Adelaide United – which was the only fixture to go ahead in the round – saw our opponents suffer their fourth defeat on the trot, going down 4-0.

This gives the Jets the perfect opportunity to re-capture their strong form from when they met Wellington only a few weeks ago, where they ran riot at home to claim their maiden win of the season.

Despite their recent results, Phoenix will be confident in turning their fortunes around against the Jets, claiming 14 of their 22 wins in the fixture when playing at their home, however since relocating to Australia during the pandemic, the Jets have claimed victory in their sole match played at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.


The Jets’ attacking brand of football has been much discussed throughout the opening matches of the season and for good reason. The side is still amongst the top goal-scorers in the competition with 10, and only sit one goal behind attacking leaders Melbourne Victory despite playing one game less.

The attacking revolution brought to the club by Manager Arthur Papas has given fans plenty of reason to be optimistic, as we look to make our first return to finals football since the Grand Final heartbreak of the 2017-18 season.

Excitement machine Beqa Mikeltadze is certainly a player that will be looking forward to this weekend’s clash after his man-of-the-match performance last time the side’s met that saw him claim a brace of goals and an assist to go with them.


Beqa Mikeltadze (Newcastle Jets)

The Georgian Gun has quickly become a favourite amongst Jets fans, pronouncing himself as a genuine attacking threat with his two goals the last time these sides faced, and further cementing that status with a stupendous free-kick against Macarthur FC the next week.

The 24-year-old has become a key figure in the Jets attack during the early rounds of the season thanks to claiming four goals, pitting him at the top of the league’s golden boot tally. Outside of the attacking stats, the striker has also been instrumental in the high possession rate the Jets have held in most games this season, completing 86% of his passes.

Look for Mikeltadze to play provider in the attacking third for fellow attackers Valentino Yuel and Olivier Boumal, with the forward registering nine-shot assists in the early parts of the season. With that in mind, you also can’t rule out the man getting on the scoresheet for a third consecutive match, with the Georgian averaging over three shots at goal a game.

David Ball (Wellington Phoenix)

It was a promising start to the season for the Phoenix, with the opening two matches seeing them take points from Macarthur and Central Coast, however, they haven’t won a game since despite strong performances in the FFA Cup where they progressed to the Quarter Finals.

David Ball could be one player the side looks towards to turn things around, with the Englishman yielding 12 goals in his three years at the club, and he’ll be hoping to mark his 50th appearance for Phoenix this weekend with a strong performance.

Look for Ball to pop up inside the box as the constant danger of the team. The 32-year-old has fired 12 shots at goal – the equal most for his side – and he’ll be eager to turn those into goals sooner rather than later.


Despite Wellington losing their last four matches, the Jets are only one competition point above the side in eighth position, further showcasing the competitiveness of the early rounds of the season.

Both sides will be fighting to claim their second win of the season, and as our team currently sits three points off the sixth place Sydney FC, a win is needed to keep in touch with the top half of the league.

Phoenix will be looking to avoid their fifth consecutive defeat when they come up against the Jets this weekend, however over the years, the New Zealand club has enjoyed facing us more than any other team. Their winning percentage against the Jets is stronger than when facing any other team with 51%.

During the week, this match was moved from WIN Stadium to Kogarah, however it’s a move that won’t have too much of an impact on how our team prepares. When playing at Wollongong, the Jets are still undefeated having played two matches at the venue in their history where we picked up one win (against Wellington) and one draw. At Kogarah, we’ve picked up three wins from the six games played there, and have only lost one game from our past five visits.

The two sides have met on the neutral ground of Kogarah once before back in August 2020, where our Jets came out 3-0 victors. Veteran Jason Hoffman scored in that match, and if he scores again this Saturday, he’ll become the leading goal-scorer of the Jets-Phoenix fixture.

Fans can most likely expect a winner to come out of this game if our history is anything to go off, as interestingly, there’s only been one draw from the past 12 matches between the two teams.