NEWCASTLE Jets beat out the Brisbane Roar in their Hyundai A-League pre-season match at Scully Park on Saturday night.
It was estimated about 2000 people attended the game, a little down on what organisers had hoped for but enthusiasm levels were reportedly still high.
Despite taking the first few shots Brisbane Roar failed to capitalise on a number of opportunities.
The Jets didn’t get their first shot off until about the 18th minute when Ruben Zadkovich’s kick from outside the box sailed over the bar.
After a number of corners it was the Jets who took the lead through captain Ryan Griffiths.
He latched onto a Marko Jesic backheel from a Jobe Wheelhouse corner on 20 minutes.
The Roar’s Besart Berisha attempted to make it level about 10 minutes later but the shot breezed wide of the far post.
The second half was full of more chances but no more goals.
The Jets briefly threatened again in the dying seconds but in the end the match ended with 1-0 in their favour, enough for them to walk away with a smile on their faces.
Fans who made the most of the Jets and Roar visit over the weekend were pretty happy too – many took the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with players on Friday and Saturday.
The Jet’s kept busy with school appearances, a sportsman’s lunch and pre-match training on Friday.
Players from the Roar were kept busy by a large crowd at Tamworth Shoppingworld’s meet and greet on Saturday morning.
Proving how much they love the game – some say they play it in heaven – members of the Jets coaching staff visited the Gipps St soccer fields early on Saturday morning, checking out some of the skills the youngest players – under 6s, 7s and 8s – were showing off.
Tamworth Regional Council’s business events manager Gavin Flanagan said from a council perspective everyone was really happy with how the A-League weekend had gone.
“Obviously over the weekend the Jets were heavily involved in a number of events across the community and that was really important for both us, and them,” Mr Flanagan said.
“We would love to see the A-League come back on a regular basis.”
Mr Flanagan said high flyers from the Jets had praised the city for their role as hosts and Wests as a venue.
“They were beyond impressed with the venue and the other facilities,” he said.