The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets playing squad were given an opportunity to gain valuable game time and match fitness in an intra-club trial match at Wanderers Oval on Wednesday morning.
The Jets’ playing squad was divided into two teams, with the side donning the Red and Blue home strip notching a 3-0 win over the side in Black and White in match of three 30-minute periods.
After starting the match in Black and White, Michael Bridges and Craig Goodwin swapped sides with Mitchell Oxborrow and James Virgili at the end of the first 30-minute period.
Bridges converted from the penalty spot after Goodwin was brought down in the box, to give the Red and Blue a 1-0 lead.
Adam Taggart and James Virgili, who returned to the Red and Blue after 30 minutes in Black and White, added a goal each late in the contest.
Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said the intra-club trial had been a productive exercise.
“It was a tough game and I think it was pleasing that we could split the group in two and get a really good competitive game,” Deans said.
“The first 60 to 75 minutes in particular was really valuable. The pace obviously dropped a little bit once we took some of the A-League players off, but it was a good hit-out in a lot of aspects.”
Deans said there were a number of players who put their case forward for a possible starting role in Round 1.
“The two teams were quite even and it was only a penalty that separated them up until the last 15 minutes,” he said.
“Players from both teams will be happy with their performance and I think that it’s important from now until the opening game against Sydney that they keep that standard up.
“The players need to keep working and keep pushing each other hard to make it as difficult as they can for Gary to make the final decision on who starts in Round 1.”
The Jets take on the Central Coast Mariners in Tamworth on Sunday, in what will be their last pre-season fixture before the start of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season.
Intra-club trial starting line-ups:
Red and Blue
Mark Birighitti (gk), Scott Neville, Connor Chapman, Kew Jaliens, Sam Gallaway, Zenon Caravella, Mitch Oxborrow, Ruben Zadkovich, James Brown, Adam Taggart, and James Virgili.
Black and White
Ben Kennedy (gk), Andrew Hoole, Taylor Regan, Josh Mitchell, Nick Cowburn, Ben Kantarovski, Josh Brillante, Michael Bridges, Brandon Lundy, Joey Gibbs and Craig Goodwin.
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
Sunday, September 29
Scully Park, Tamworth
Tickets available HERE