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Newcastle Jets Youth – Jonty’s Season Review

The Newcastle Jets Youth equalled their best ever finish in the Foxtel National Youth League, with a second-placed finish in Conference B of the revamped competition.

The Junior Jets were pipped to the post for a Grand Final spot on the final afternoon of the regular season by Sydney FC Youth – who were defeated twice by the Jets. Newcastle were the only team to take any points from the eventual national champions. Here, we take a look back at how Clayton Zane’s side fared throughout the course of the season from start to finish:

Round 1 vs WSW (H) – D 3-3

The opening weekend of the season saw the Jets hit the ground running against a shell-shocked Western Sydney Wanderers side who were put under immense pressure in the opening exchanges. The pressure eventually told, as Nick Cowburn put the home side ahead with a seventh-minute free kick. Eventually, the Wanderers got a foothold and turned the match on its head by scoring twice to go into the break with the lead.

Brandon Lundy was the hero of the second half, scoring a scorching equaliser from an acute angle, before the Jets fell behind again. With second half stoppage time ticking away, centre-back Tom Whiteside was thrown forward and the move paid dividends, with the big defender setting up Lundy to finish from close range in the 93rd minute to rescue a point.

Round 2 vs FFA CoE (A) – L 3-4

The Jets set off for Canberra on the longest road trip of the season, without Lundy and captain Andrew Pawiak, who were named on the A-League bench for the F3 derby on the same afternoon the Junior Jets travelled to the capital.

At half time, it appeared the duo were not required anyhow as the side went to the sheds 2-0 up thanks to an early goal from Kristian Brymora and a goal just before the break by Braedyn Crowley.

Unfortunately for Newcastle, it all went pear shaped as they found themselves 3-2 down just 15 minutes after the restart. There was to be late drama when Crowley levelled it up at 3-3 in the 93rd minute for the second week running, only to see the points snatched away with a 96th minute penalty to the CoE after a harsh handball call on Whiteside.

Round 4 vs CCM (H) – W 3-0

For the third match in a row, Newcastle’s attack was firing on all cylinders with another three goals. This time, the defence was on-song, as the Jets collected their first clean sheet of the season and their first victory.

Once again, the Jets drew first blood early as Pawiak brought down a poor keeper clearance. With cries of ‘shoot’ in the air, he elected instead to thread Mitch Cooper into a better position to fire home.

Lundy and Josh Barresi added two quick goals midway through the second half to finish the Mariners off to round out a convincing win.

Round 5 vs SYD (A) – W 2-1

Newcastle travelled to Leichhardt to take on the undefeated Sydney FC Youth. Although only halfway through the competition, a win here for the Sky Blues in this six-pointer may well have already sealed the Conference B title. The task was made all the more difficult with the leaders naming a very strong line-up featuring Olyroo Brandon O’Neill and other first-team players Robert Stambolziev, Aaron Calver, Chris Naumoff and Alex Mullen.

Despite going behind to a Naumoff goal early on, Lundy restored parity with a quarter of an hour played, bravely sliding in at the far post to tap home, which saw several players end up in the net. Cody Carroll netted just before half time to take an unlikely lead to the break.

Sydney FC threw everything at the Jets and despite having them under siege in the second half, Newcastle defended heroically and held strong to pull off an upset which blew the title race wide open. Zane went on to say the performance was the best he had been involved in as youth coach.

Round 6 vs FFA CoE (H) – W 1-0

With Sydney FC in their sights, the Jets needed to collect another three points against the FFA Centre of Excellence and avenge their late defeat in Canberra – and they did just that. A 15th minute Brymora goal proved to be the difference on the day.

Despite the CoE fielding a strong side with players who have since been snapped up by A-League clubs and having the vast majority of possession on the day, the Jets never really looked under threat and could have hit four or five, had it not been for the woodwork and some outstanding goalkeeping.

Round 8 vs WSW (A) – L 1-2

With the Wanderers already out of the title race, the best they could do on the day was to dent the Jets’ title hopes, which they did.

Missing Lundy and Cooper for this one, Zane fielded a young forward line and young winger Finn Parris re-paid the coach’s faith by opening the scoring in the sixth-minute. Despite the frantic pace of the game, just one goal was scored in the first half.

The comeback was complete for the Wanderers on the hour mark, with two quick goals putting the home side ahead.

The match continued to go end to end with both sides creating chances, but the Red-and-Black weathered the storm to send the Jets home empty handed and put their title hopes on life support.

Round 9 vs SYD (H) – W 1-0

This match was do-or-die for the Jets, as anything less than a win would effectively hand the Conference B title to Sydney FC.

Andy Brennan’s fourth-minute goal got the vocal home crowd on board as the 12th man. Just as the Sky Blues were pressing hard for an equaliser in the second half, they were reduced to 10 men as they had a player dismissed for two yellow cards, his second for simulation as he tried winning a penalty under the referee’s nose.

The result meant the Jets had to win the F3 derby the next week and hope that the CoE could spring the upset of the season by beating Sydney FC away from home.

Round 10 vs CCM (A) – W 3-2

The Jets entered their second do-or-die clash in six days as they travelled down the freeway to take on the Mariners. Parris opened the scoring with yet another early goal, before conceding twice before the half hour. Just four minutes later, the title hopefuls were ahead with two goals to Barresi in the space of 30 seconds. The Jets went to break 3-2 ahead and hung onto that scoreline in the second half to temporarily top the conference and pile all the pressure onto Sydney FC the following afternoon.

The Jets came within a whisker of the grand final when the CoE made it 2-2 in Sydney with 12 minutes left and pressed hard for the goal that would see the Jets qualify for the showpiece. With the CoE committing numbers forward to try and end their season on a high, a counter attack in the 86th minute saw the Sky Blues extinguish the Jets’ season. Sydney FC went onto defeat Adelaide United 5-2 in the title decider the following week.

Final Word

When asked about his standout players through the course of the season, coach Zane noted midfielder Pawiak, winger Parris and number 10 Carroll as his picks. Pawiak ably led his team around the park from the engine room and was a figure of consistency, while Parris and Carroll emerged as starting 11 players after not featuring at all in the early parts of the campaign.

Other honourable mentions must go to keeper Blake Tuxford and defenders Themba Muata-Marlow and Whiteside for their rock solid defence after conceding seven goals in the first two matches.

The team’s success was not just built on having a solid defence, but the ability to score early goals and put the opposition under pressure. The Jets scored an early goal in every match, with the latest of their openers coming in the 16th minute of the game in Sydney.

Balance was another key factor in earning positive results. With the defence and engine room complimenting each other quite well, Barresi added extra physicality, ball winning ability and forward drive after being re-incarnated as a defensive midfielder and linking up well with Carroll and the frontline and was outstanding in the latter stages of the season.

The season proved to be a commendable effort with regular players occasionally missing due to A-League commitments and losing key players Antonee Burke and Tom Waller early in the season due to injury, who will return to strengthen the side this winter in the NPL.

Despite final day disappointment, Clayton Zane and his team have much to be proud of and can take many positives into the upcoming NPL season. With a reasonably young and at times, inexperienced side, they defied the odds and almost went all the way.


Gaz’s Gone Drinkin – Match Review – Newcastle United Jets FC 1 vs Perth Glory FC 6

Not much can be said that hasn’t already been screamed at the tv, yelled from your stadium seat or innocently stated by your 6 year old family member….. My 6 year old wished me luck when I left for the drive to Newcastle with the parting words “good luck dad! You know they won’t win, but good luck anyway” and when I got home, I tell no lie, she greeted me the next morning with “what did they lose by?” Sweetly, innocently, supportively, lovingly…. Brutally honestly.

Against Perth, the jets weren’t very good. I said to those around me at the game that it was like watching a 1st v Reserves training match where the reserves have been given strict instructions not to tackle, and when they get the ball to kick it straight out for a throw, or pass it straight back to them.

If Boogaard wants to play again, let alone captain the team, he should spend the time he’s suspended, making 9004 phone calls to everyone at the ground an apologize for his sending off. Expletives don’t exist to adequately convey the stupidity of his actions on getting a second yellow for a challenge on half way in first half injury time…. Oh dear god typing that makes me angry.

Birraz had an off game, but he’s saved our arse that many times he can be afforded a bad game every no and then. Still, he needs to command his area, some see him as Jesus in goals, I agree, he really does not like crosses.

Cam Watson was woeful, hoofing it out or back to them when an easier option, or three, were available and was rightly ripped out of the match despite the team losing a central defender behind him.

Carney should go. If his agent is half the wheeler and dealer he says he is, go play in Qatar, at least there you can blame the heat for only running twice in a match. I dont buy into the “he’s involved in all our goals” some of his supporters spout – he regularly causes the other 10 blokes to to have to re-adjust in defense because he ignores his responsibilities when we don’t have the ball. He’s supposed to be the old head leading be example, well his example of switching off in defence has not helped, because many followed that lead and we shipped 6.

Hoff, was solid, and was one of the few still working at the end.

Triff. Usual performance, needs 10 chances to hit the target once. Needs to hit the target ten times to score once…. We really don’t play well enough in the front third to exploit his strengths. Get him the ball in the 6yrd box and he’s effective, except if you do it in the first 3 minutes.

The rest of the team barely earn a mention.

Bloody hell we were bad.

On the way back to the car, the day got decidedly better in two ways. I say a bloke in a jets shirt wearing an Aston villa hat, and thought “at least I’m not that bloke” and when we got back to the car in Waratah, it was still there!

Adelaide next! We always do well there don’t we…..

Gaz’s Gone Drinking – Match Ratings and Review – Newcastle United Jets 3 – Wellington Phoenix 1

Hi all, as this is my first attempt at doing a true and thorough match review, please go easy.
Jets and Wellington Player Ratings……

Birraz – 6: A very shaky performance. Caught in no man’s land on a couple of occasions. Relieved to have little to do in the second half as his side dominated thoroughly.
Mullen – 6: Went missing down the right flank when McGlinchey drilled in the low cross to set up the opening goal and continually left gaps throughout the first half. Looked more comfortable when he switched to centreback.
Jackson – 7: Strong in the air. Knew where to be and when to be there. Helped out in attack whenever possible and even set-up the crucial equalizer.
Hoffman – 6.5: Kept on battling despite taking two blows to his shoulder. Had to be taken off at the break.
Boogs – 7.5: Provided the biggest threats in the first half with his darting runs down the left flank. Made a pivotal clearance off the line to keep his side afloat. The outcome could have been very different if it wasn’t for him.
Carney – 6.5: Very industrious but for all his clever runs and cheeky flicks, there was hardly any end product.
Poljak – 7: Didn’t see as much of the ball as he would’ve liked. His long range passing and shooting looked suspiciously out of sync.
Kitto – 6.5: Left flailing whenever Wellington’s midfield line charged forward on the counter. Looked more composed in the second half as the team started controlling the match.
Kanta – 7: Barely noticeable for large parts of the first half. But took all of two minutes into the second half to come to life with a stunning strike to draw the game levelled.
Alivodic – 7.5: Caused the Wellington backline endless headaches. Had a few strong shouts for a penalty. Like Kanta, he looked out of sorts with his normally lethal shooting.
Milos – 6.5: Spurned a number of great chances with his indecisiveness. Ironically, it was because of that flaw that lead to the second goal when he missed a shooting chance and had to play the ball back to Poljak.

Cowburn – 8.5: Completely turned the game around and revived his team’s jaded attack. Left the Wellington defenders chasing thin air most of the time. Showed his class with a clinical finish for the third goal.
Leonardo – 7: Held up the ball well when he needed to. Created the third goal with a lovely pull back.
Cooper – 4: Meh.

Moss – 7: Made a few good saves to deny Newcastle drawing levelled in the first period. Could not be blamed for the three goals his team leaked in.
Gulley – 6.5: Good reading of the game. Knew exactly when to cut into the middle to help out his centrebacks. But very fortunate to stay on the pitch after the reckless tackle on Kitto.
Durante – 7.5: Barely put a foot wrong. Dealt with everything Newcastle could muster in the first period, whether it was low passes, high balls, crosses or through balls. Continued to impress in the second but the pressure was just too much.
Danaskos – 6: A little unsure with his positioning, but together with Durante, they kept Newcastle at bay for long periods.
Fox – 6.5: Like Gulley, he had to work hard cutting in from the flank to the centre to overload the penalty area.
Lia– 6: Quietly pulled the strings in the first half but just went plain quiet in the second. Had to play virtually as an extra defender just to get a touch of the ball.
Bonevacia – 7: So lively in the first half but like everyone else in Stripes, completely disappeard after the restart.
Rodriguez– 6: Made up the numbers in midfield but started to struggled immensely when Alivodic dropped down deep following Cowburn’s introduction.
Riera – 6.5: Solid in the first half but failed to keep up with the pace in the second and it was his failure to pick out Poljak’ run that lead to Newcastle’s second goal.
McGlinchey – 7: Constantly back-tracked to help out Fox to defend the left flank. Exploited the space left vacant for him to attack but a shame none of his other deliveries from the wings were converted into goals.
Powell – 6: Like Milos, he fluffed a few decent chances in the first half. He must have regretted it as he was utterly isolated after the resumption.
Appiah-Kubi – 5: Only had one meaningful touch of the ball and he went and gave it away.
Doyle – 5: Brought in to tighten up the backline but he didn’t do any better than the rest.
Ridenton – 6: Extra points for scoring his side’s only goal.

If after reading this, you get the feeling I didn’t even watch the game…. You’re right – my real Sunday Arvo match report would actually read as follows….. I was planning to get the Wellington Game all week, Furns had even asked me to do a player ratings match report, I’d filled the car with Petrol to save time on Sunday arvo as the 2hr drive from beautiful sleepy Wingham isn’t one that I’m too keen to add time onto….. Then on Saturday night I got a message from a mate calling a Sunday arvo beers session at a chilled out local beer garden… some crazy weird Hippy band were playing and the beers were expected to be cold. The Stone and Wood Pacific Ale was a bit light and “thin” so I quickly switched the White Rabbit Dark Ale, which was much more robust in flavour and far easier to sit on and chill out, to the Gypsy Pirate Circus weird stuff these band (who looked like Beetlejuice and Captain Jack Sparrow’s love child on Acid) were playing. I got home just in time for Dinner and to listen to Big Phil and Adam talk about lots of things and occasionally fill us in on what was happening on the pitch. The kids needed bathing so I turned off the radio at 1-0 figuring that if me not being at the match in person was actually helping the team win, then listening to it on the radio probably wasn’t a good idea…. So in short, it’s my fault we won!

Important links for the fully immersive online experience of football match reports…..
The Bar I was at instead of being at the game….. http://www.flowbar.com.au/#about
Stone and Wood Pacific Ale details…… http://stoneandwood.com.au/beers/pacific-ale/
White Rabbit, Dark Ale, by Little Creatures….. http://whiterabbitbeer.com.au/
The Band – the Sea Gypsie Orchestra … https://soundcloud.com/the-sea-gypsies-1
the match report – a 3-1 Win for Arsenal over Everton in 2008… http://www.goal.com/en/news/8/main/2008/10/18/919065/player-ratings-arsenal-3-1-everton

Gary Fish