Jets trial Tuesday night

The Newcastle Jets will take on Sydney Olympic Tuesday nightat Belmore Oval after a double booking of the venue forced the trial to be brought forward 24 hours.

Olympic share the ground with the Canterbury Bulldogs rugby league club, who are the primary tenant, and have booked the ground for training.

High-profile recruits Kew Jaliens and Nathan Burns will make their Jets debut against the NSW Premier League club.

However, James Brown’s return from ankle surgery has been put back.

The Jets had a heavy training session on Monday and opted against rushing Brown back. He is now expected to get some game time against Sydney FC on Wollongong on Saturday.

Jets unleash big three against Sydney Olympic

THE Newcastle Jets will unleash their big three – Emile Heskey, Kew Jaliens and Nathan Burns – against NSW Premier League club Sydney Olympic at Belmore Oval Tuesday night.

The high-profile trio participated in an intra-club game on Saturday, but the battle with the former national league heavyweight will be the first against formal opposition.

Heskey has been training for a month, Burns arrived from Korea three weeks ago and Jaliens has been here a fortnight.

“They will definitely play against Olympic and then we will manage it over the course of the pre-season, what’s left of it, from a games aspect,” coach Gary van Egmond said. “For Kew and Nathan the most important thing is for them to play games to help with combinations.

“We played an intra-club trial on the weekend. Kew got through 40 minutes and Nathan played 60 minutes. Emile played 40 minutes as well.

“Kew’s fitness is a little bit behind, not much, and that will come through the weight of games we have coming up and the training.

“Nathan’s fitness is fine, it is just games and forming combinations.

“With Emile, again his base fitness is pretty good, it is more about getting games into him.”

Burns and Jaliens are the Jets’ major off-season recruits. On loan from Korean Incheon United, Burns will join Heskey and young gun Adam Taggart in a three-pronged strike force.

Jaliens, who has played 10 internationals for Holland, will marshal the defence.

Van Egmond has been impressed with both of them.

“Kew brings a lot of leadership, very calm on the ball, a good decision maker with and without possession, good organisational skills . . . he has definitely been very good for us so far,” the coach said.

“With Nathan – going past people, creating goals, scoring goals himself. On the weekend he was instrumental in the first three goals.”

Van Egmond has been trialling a 3-4-3 playing formation, but with Jaliens on deck he is leaning towards a back four.

“It is always good to have a couple of systems,” he said.

“The four at the back is obviously more stable. The three we can change into [Tuesday night], depending how the games goes. It gives us that flexibility.”

Midfielder James Brown will also make his first appearance of the pre-season after recovering from ankle surgery, leaving Craig Goodwin (patella tendonitis) as the only player not available.

Olympic finished seventh in the NSW Premier League. Their last game was a 2-1 loss to APIA Leichhardt on August 18.

“We are expecting them to be decent,” van Egmond said.

“We had a decent hit-out against [fellow NSW Premier League club] Bonnyrigg and we are expecting the same.

“With the players we have coming in, we are obviously looking to be a little be more effective. Obviously we want to win the game, but it is also about forming combinations and working on things we need to.”

After Olympic the Jets have trials against Sydney FC on Saturday in Wollongong, Melbourne Victory behind closed doors in Melbourne on September 18 and premiers Central Coast Mariners in Tamworth on September 29.

They kick off their campaign against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on October 11.

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