PREVIEW: Pride on the line when Jets face Bulls

Our side is back on the road this week as we take on Macarthur FC in a bid to turn our fortunes around as the A-League season draws to a close.

Our last start against the Mariners saw a strong-hearted fightback snuffed out late on denying us of completing one of the comebacks of the season at home last Saturday. As a result, our finals hopes are hanging by a thread.

The Bulls are also coming off the back of a disappointing loss and will be looking to return to the winners’ circle as they too push for the final spot likely available in the A-League finals series.

If we are to make finals this season it will be thanks to winning all three of our remaining matches, on top of other results going our way, however despite that, we are still looking to spoil the party for our oppositions and finish what’s been a progressive season on a high.

Here’s the full breakdown of Sunday afternoon’s clash:


Date: Sunday 1 May 2022

Kick-off: 4:05pm

Venue: Campbelltown Stadium

How to Watch: Paramount+


Played: 4

Jets: 0

Draws: 2

Macarthur: 2


Our side is out to end a string of disappointing losses, having come up short in our previous three outings in the A-League Men’s competition, and it’s a streak we want to snap on Sunday.

Macarthur are facing a form slump of their own having tasted defeat in their previous two games. They too will be desperate to get back into the winner’s circle when the two sides meet this weekend.

Our side’s head-to-head record with Macarthur swings in the favour of our opponents as we are still yet to record a victory over the Bulls.

Despite Macarthur’s winning record over our side, the Bulls have never managed to keep a clean sheet against us, and they have also failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their past 12 matches. We will be looking to get on the front foot and outscore our opponents from the get-go.

Additionally, our side will look to break their longest losing run of the season. Despite our struggles to find consistency this season, we are yet to lose more than three consecutive matches.


Our side will be missing a key element of its attacking style this weekend with the absence of our dynamic midfielder Daniel Penha, and someone will need to replace the Brazilian’s creativity and go-forward.

Last time our side was without Penha, we dropped all points against the Brisbane Roar. Despite the result, fellow midfielder Brandon Wilson was studious with his efforts and managed to plug the gap with great resolve, completing 82% of his passes and winning over half of his duels with opponents to provide a solid platform for our attack, however we struggled to find that ‘killer’ pass in the final third.

In recent weeks, however, Kosta Grozos has featured in the Starting XI and could present himself as the ideal replacement for Penha. Last week against the Mariners, Grozos completed 80% of his passes and had a success rate of 67% with his long passes – a key aspect of Penha’s game which will need supplementing.

In 2021/22, our side has been faced with a number of different adversities this season, and with more being thrown our way to end the season, everyone will be doing their best to overcome – no matter who pulls on the kit.


Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets)

Not much needs to be said about A-League veteran Jason Hoffman and how crucial he is to the team as a leader and the experience he adds to our side.

The 33-year-old has been one of our best players in our previous two fixtures and has led by example as a senior figure in our A-League men’s squad.

Hoffman shone against the Mariners last Saturday night, providing the assist for young gun Lucas Mauragis that changed the complexion of the game. He was also extremely solid when linking up with his teammates, completing 78% of his passes which included four key passes across the 90 minutes.

The 264-game-veteran also stood up in our midweek fixture with the Wanderers, scoring a goal and providing the assist for Samuel Silvera as our side fought hard in their come back attempt in a much improved second half.

‘Hoffy’ will be looking to provide another strong performance in this game, and his contribution in the effort areas across the park may prove to be the difference between collecting points on Sunday.

Ulises Davila (Macarthur FC)

Macarthur’s No.10 has been a pivotal part of their attacking makeup this season and is a large reason they’re in contention for the final spot in the A-League finals.

The 31-year-old is the Bulls’ leading scorer with seven goals in 21 matches, and has contributed with two assists as well. The Mexican ace has proven his worth as an attacking midfielder but has also proven his versatility by deputising on the right wing when required.

Davila was strong against Melbourne Victory in the Bulls’ previous outing; he had three shots on goal and found his teammates with great success boasting a 84% pass completion.

Davila is also Macarthur’s leading man for successful dribbles per match with an average of two per game, and has won possession in the final third 22 times for the Bulls this season which is second-best in the league, only beaten by our side’s Daniel Penha.

The livewire attacker has been crucial for the Bulls this season and our side will need to close him down to give ourselves the best chance at victory.


Newcastle is yet to record a victory over Macarthur in our first four meetings since the Bulls joined the competition in 2020.

Our side is second in the league for accurate passes per match with an average of 445, which is a strong contrast to Macarthur who are bottom of the league for this stat with an average of 309.

Our side also enjoys dominating possession stats in their games, and they still lead the league for this statistic with an average possession of 56%, meanwhile Macarthur are also last for this stat with 44%.

Beka Mikeltadze requires two goals to equal Jamie Maclaren at the top of the A-League scorers list, and he may be due for a goal as he averages 1.5 shots on target per game – the most of anyone in the competition.

If Jason Hoffman is selected as part of the Starting XI on Sunday, it will be his 200th appearance as a starting player in the A-League. An appearance would also mark his 265th overall and 198th competitive game for the Club.