NEWCASTLE Jets Youth coach Clayton Zane has told his players they must deliver strong individual performances against Charlestown City Blues in the NBN State League at Lisle Carr Oval today if they want to be in the team in the coming season.
The young Jets must win the match if they are any chance of claiming the minor premiership. Adding to the pressure, club head coach Gary van Egmond and assistant Craig Deans are expected to be present, assessing the squad for the coming A-League season.
''It's decision time now,'' Zane said. ''If they want to be part of it, they need to perform in the NBN, which will go a long way in helping them into the [National Youth League] season. Gary or Craig will be there so it will be a good time for the players to see what they are capable of in a pressure situation.''
The Jets sit in equal second with 35 points, ahead of Broadmeadow Magic on goal difference and one point behind the leaders, Hamilton Olympic. It is the penultimate round of the regular season.
Newcastle Jets Youth will be without their NYL contingent today, usually about five or six players, as they prepare for the start of next season's A-League and NYL competitions.
''We have lost a few players, but the young players have stepped up before and we expect them to do so again,'' Zane said. ''Players like Kale Bradbery and Mason Campbell cope with this pressure well.''
The NBN League has helped the youngsters to develop. ''If they can win at the end of the day that is great, but it's more about the development of the players as individuals so they can qualify for the Newcastle Jets Youth team,'' Zane said.