Coaches Column

Branko Culina gives his weekly Jets update...

We-ve had an easier week this week with a lighter workload for the players.

Not being able to play our pre-season friendly against Lake Macquarie last Wednesday, due to poor field conditions after another bout of wet weather, meant we were unable to secure any game time which was unfortunate.

However, there is good news on all other fronts.

I am happy to report that Chris Payne has completely recovered from injury and is back training with the team. This leaves Kasey Wehrman the only player to return before our squad is once again complete, and we shouldn-t be waiting too long for this. I expect to see Kasey back on the field within the next 10 days.

On the game front, our next scheduled match will see us travel to Wollongong for a friendly against the South Coast Wolves tomorrow night. This time, we are confident of making it onto the field to experience some important game time.

Tomorrow night-s trial against South Coast will be an important game, allowing every player the opportunity to get onto the field and put some hard work at training into practice, especially those who missed our recent game against the Melbourne Heart.

The team and I appreciate the opportunity that Wollongong has given us, especially after we were unable to play last week.

After the match against the Wolves we-re looking at a four day break to give everyone a well-deserved rest and time to recharge their batteries before we get right back into it. This will be the last break for the boys before the start of the 2011/2011 A-League season.

When we come back, we only have four weeks until the official season proper and our home game against Melbourne Heart, so it will be full steam ahead from the moment we return.

In response to the ever growing number of Newcastle supporters. In my experience there-s nothing more motivating for a team than to see their community banding together behind them in support. The continuously growing membership numbers are extremely impressive, especially for a community that isn-t a capital city. But let-s not stop now; let-s see if we can make it to our goal of 10,000.

All in all the pre-season is moving along nicely, everyone is playing well and hopefully our success will carry over into the season ahead.

Finally, we wish the Newcastle Knights the best of luck for Friday night-s crucial match against the Rabbitohs.

We-ll all be there to cheer on our Hunter Sports Group stable mates when they run out to secure a finals berth and it would be great to see 33,000 supporters at Ausgrid Stadium in fine voice.

In the meantime, we-ll have an update for you on the Newcastle Jets website this Thursday to let you know the results of tomorrow night-s trial.