DYNAMIC DUO: Dimi Petratos shares a moment with Steve Ugarkovic in the Jets’ 4-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers. Picture: Darren PatemanIt’s the most wonderful time of the yearparticularly if you are a Newcastle Jets fan, a postal contractor or simply a fan of Christmas movies and ham.
Your columnist will admit to qualifying for one or two of those categories, however, it’s also a hectic time at regular jobs for some. Unfortunately, I missed the live party at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.
It hurt to have to politely decline the personal invitation from Lawrie McKinna and Joel Griffiths, who have gone out of their way to include ex-players this season.
But it hurt a lot more to miss a thoroughly dominant performance by the Jets.
It was impressive enough on replay – a consummate team performance from the first minute until the referee called fulltime –but you just don’t quite get the full feel of what I’m sure was a great atmosphere.
The festive season also requires adjustments to deadlines, so I am writing this column a little earlyto assist those who have to edit, punctuate, and generally spruce up my offering.
I’ve delayed long enough to witnessa last-minute Melbourne Victory win in an exciting derby, Sydney’sseamlessly disposalof Wellingtonacross the ditch, with the ‘El Clasico’in Spain only minutes away.
All of which is very pertinent to the Jets and their away fixtures against Melbourne Victory on Friday and Sydney FC next Wednesday. More on the upcoming week shortly.
Read more: Entertainers turn on the ol’ razzle dazzle to thump the Wanderers
I have to admit, I wasn’t too sure how the Jets would perform against the Wanderers on Friday night. Unconvincing in their previous two victoriesand up against an opponent who, though in a transitional phase, had never lost in Newcastle .
This was, you sensed, an important game in the overall scheme of the season and how the Jets respondedafter two fairly moderate performances, all be it worth six points, would be important going forward.
Any anxiety was allayed in an aggressive, focused, intense opening-10 minutes –a period in which the Jets have been a little susceptible this season.
Jets soar to heady heights https://t苏州夜场招聘/vjUiuK30XX
— Newcastle Herald (@newcastleherald) December 25, 2017A great picture our 11 academy teams,NYL and WLeague teams and A league team plus coaching staff Martin and wife Lynn pic.twitter老域名购买/qjKuXtZLQ9
— Lawrie McKinna (@LawrieMcKinna) December 23, 2017
When you are missing your first-choice strikerand your designated playmaker,it’s important that the goals are provided from an alternative source. I doubt I could imagine a more random quartet, with all due respect, than those who delivered on Friday night .
Hell, the first four in the Melbourne Cup this year paid upwards of $50,000and it was 50 times easier to nominate than a scoresheet with the names Koutroumbis, Hoffman, Kantarovski and Ugarkovicall appearing on the one night.
Such is the confidence and belief in the camp right now.
That is more than partly due to the playmaking role being embracedand very effectively filled by Dimi Petratos,who has really seized the moment and opportunity to shine.
So all in all, it’s a perfect time to embrace the challenge of the two biggest names in the A-League – Victory and Sydney FC – away from homeinside a week.
It’s a tough schedule no doubt, but the challenge of a resurgent Jets makes the period ahead a large challenge for the two ‘big guns’as welland Merrick will be reminding his team of that.
Victory for example, were they to lose to the Jets, would be 13 points adrift of Newcastle -five wins to make up in 14games -and would bring with it enormous scoreboard pressure.
Throw in the exertions of an ACL campaign beginning in January for both Victory and Sydney FCand you start to realise what a good position the Jets are in to seriously challenge this season .
The task of beating Sydney FC on January 3 at Allianz Stadium probably looms as the more difficult of the two fixtures, but the Jets have broken a number of records thisseason, so ending the Sky Blues’ long unbeaten home run is not beyond the realms .
It’s great for Jets fansand everyone at the club to be right in the mix at Christmas.
After seven barren years,there is a sense, I guess, of not wanting to be the one to go the early crow,getting hopes up too early andsuggesting that 2018 may prove to be even more exciting than what has transpired to this point .
Fortunately, the players don’t seem to share such reticence.They are bouncing, bubbling, and really believing. And the feeling is growing.Happy new year troops.