Season Preview Series: Newcastle Jets

In the lead-up to the 10th of the A-League we’ll be doing an extensive preview of the league club by club- continuing today with Newcastle Jets.

400px-Newcastle_United_Jets_Logo_svg

Last Season: 7th
Newcastle’s season last time was similar to that of two years ago where they were close to making the finals before falling short on the final day of the season. That saw Gary van Egmond lose his job with former Adelaide assistant Phil Stubbins given the job in the off-season. It’s now his job to get a young Newcastle side to mature and emerge as a finals calibre side.

New Kit:
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Squad:
1) Mark Birighitti, 2) Scott Neville, 3) Taylor Regan, 4) Kew Jaliens, 5) Ben Kantarovski, 6) Adrian Madaschi, 7) Jeronimo Neumann, 8) Edson Montano, 9) Joel Griffiths, 10) Marcos Flores, 12) Sam Gallagher, 13) Josh Barresi, 14) Billy Celeski, 15) Andrew Hoole, 16) Jacob Pepper, 17) James Virgili, 19) Mitch Cooper, 20) Ben Kennedy, 21) Sam Gallaway, 22) Jonny Steele, 23) David Carney, 25) Brandon Lundy, 30) John Solari, ??) Allan Welsh.

In:

Adrian Madaschi (Jeju United- South Korea), Josh Barresi (Western Sydney Wanderers), Marcos Flores (Central Coast Mariners), Jonny Steele (New York Red Bulls- United States), Sam Gallagher (Hanoi T&T- Vietnam), Edson Montano (Barcelona SC- Ecuador (loan)), Jeronimo Neumann (Adelaide United), Billy Celeski (Liaoning Whowin-China), Allan Welsh (Croydon Kings- NPL South Australia).

Out:
Adam Taggart (Fulham- England), Joshua Brillante (Fiorentina- Italy), James Brown (Melbourne City), Connor Chapman (Melbourne City), Ruben Zadkovich (Perth Glory), Zenon Caravella (FNQ Heat), Joey Gibbs (APIA Leichhardt), Josh Mitchell (Liaoning Whowin), Craig Goodwin (Adelaide), Mitchell Oxborrow (Released).

Newcastle’s recruitment looks ok on the surface of things with Madaschi at the back, Celeski in midfield and Jeronimo upfront, however they will be relying on Marcos Flores returning from injury to deliver the ball to his fellow Argentine. The players they’ve lost however can’t be understated- in Adam Taggart and Josh Brillante not only did they lose two national team players, they freed up next to no salary cap space as they were both on rookie deals. Losing their captain from the heart of midfield is also a loss.

Expected Starting XI:
1119712_Newcastle_Jets

While we probably won’t see this XI on the park in the opening weeks due to Newcastle’s injury concerns in the midfield, you would think that a diamond midfield in a 4-4-2 would give them the best chance to get their best players on the park regularly. It’s tough to know however because there have been reports of a 4-3-3/ 4-2-3-1 in pre-season so it could be a case of changing it from week to week based on who is available.

Pre-Season:
The Jets pre-season has been rather underwhelming it has to be said, losing all their games against A-League opposition, including a 4-0 loss to Brisbane and an FFA Cup loss to Perth.
Newcastle Jets 3-1 Newcastle Jets NYL
Weston Workers 1-8 Newcastle Jets
Newcastle Jets 0-1 Juventus
Newcastle Jets 0-2 Perth Glory (FFA Cup)
Brisbane Roar 4-0 Newcastle Jets
Newcastle Jets 2-4 Sydney FC
Newcastle Jets 3-0 North Queensland All-Stars
Newcastle Jets 2-1 Wellington Phoenix

All-time record against Newcastle Jets:

Untitled
Newcastle’s recruitment looks solid however they’re relying on a bounce back year from Marcos Flores after knee injury which is a concern and the pre-season results are anything but encouraging. It looks like being a fifth successive season outside of the top six for the Jets.

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