NEW signing Josh Mitchell is confident his experience will help settle Newcastle’s defensive combinations when the Jets open their 2012-13 campaign against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium today.
The Jets could start with three of their back four making their Jets A-League debut with Dominik Ritter, Scott Neville and Belmont-born Mitchell all new to the club.
”It will be a tough task for people that haven’t played so much in the A-League before,” the former Perth Glory defender said.
But Mitchell has confidence in the combinations the club has worked with in pre-season. ”Dom [Ritter], the Swiss boy, has come in and he’s done really well … hopefully I can help them out and organise the boys in front of me [and] get the backs and midfielders really working well.”
The Jets will have a tall order controlling the threat of an Adelaide attack that includes Sergio van Dijk, Dario Vidosic and Bruce Djite.
”They have a lot of big threats,” he said. ”Dario Vidosic is a tricky player. Their strikers … are big guys who score goals. There’s plenty of threats and we’ll have to be on our game.”
Newcastle should be prepared physically for the clash. The club’s pre-season training was reputedly the most demanding in the A-League, with coach Gary van Egmond pushing his players to start the new campaign in style.
Asked what had characterised Newcastle’s pre-season, Mitchell was blunt. ”Hard work,” he said.
”Since I’ve come in, everyone’s been really good, been working really hard and I think we’ve had some good performances to get ready for the season.
”We’re a hard-working team with a lot of fit, young, aggressive players and I think, altogether, it works really well and it helps build the style we want to play and, hopefully, helps us get some results.”
The pre-season hype has understandably surrounded new arrivals Emile Heskey and James Brown, and their combination play with fellow front-man Ryan Griffiths.
On paper, the Jets forward line is as good as any in the league and van Egmond will want to unleash them on a side returning from Uzbekistan after a 3-2 loss to Bunyodkor in the Asian Champions League.
”I’m sure it [the ACL defeat] will affect them a little bit,” Mitchell said. ”At the same time, I don’t think it’s going to win us the game.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.