PREVIEW: Merrick eyeing ‘intense’ Magic performance


Newcastle Jets boss Ernie Merrick expects his players to demonstrate a high intensity style of play against what he believes will be a “very, very competitive” Broadmeadow Magic side on Wednesday night.

Merrick’s men will play their second friendly fixture of their 2017 pre-season campaign against the fifth-placed PS4 National Premier Leagues (NNSW) team at Magic Park. Kick-off is at 7:00pm and admission is free.

The duel against Magic – coached by former Jets midfielder Ruben Zadkovich – will be another step for the Jets as the team readies itself for its 2017 Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 tie against Adelaide United in South Australia on August 9.

“We want the intensity to be quite high (against Broadmeadow Magic),” Merrick told local media on Tuesday. “I was disappointed in our midfield work against Weston (last week), so we really need to get hold of the midfield, win it (the ball) well, and then transition forward and have a lot more movement from our strikers up front.”

“That’s an area that we really need to strengthen because the game is all about scoring goals. I don’t think we created enough chances (last week) so let’s see if we can create more and score more this week,” he said.

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Although still relatively new to the region, Merrick showed his knowledge of the local PS4 NPL competition on Tuesday and was complimentary to Broadmeadow who will host the fixture.

“They are a good team,” he said. “They are one of the top teams in the competition, they have some ex-A-League players, and I think they will be very, very competitive.”

“I hope that we raise the intensity of the game so we can play under pressure situations, but the focus is really on getting our midfield right and the service forward.”

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Jets striker Roy O’Donovan scored his first goal for the Club in last week’s 2-0 friendly win over Weston Workers Bears FC at Rockwell Automation Park.

The Irishman said that the Magic game is one that “the lads are all looking forward to”.

“It will be a challenge, they (Magic) are a good football team,” O’Donovan said. “But we have to do our job and make sure that we come out of it with no injuries, a good fitness base, and hopefully we can start to entertain the fans a little bit.”

O’Donovan believes the team blew some of the cobwebs out against Weston last week, and are ready to “step up the gears tomorrow”.

“Ernie wants us to impress the supporters,” he explained.

Newcastle Jets 2017 Pre-Season Friendly
Date: Wednesday 19 July 2017
Opponent: Broadmeadow Magic FC
Venue: Magic Park, Broadmeadow
Kick-off: 7:00pm
Hashtag: #MAGICvJETS
Admission: Free