Elrich: the Jets are ready

The Newcastle Jets are gearing up for their opening clash of the 2011/12 A-League season and long standing Jets player, Tarek Elrich is excited about what this season holds for the team.

The Newcastle Jets are gearing up for their opening clash of the 2011/12 A-League season and long-standing Jets player, Tarek Elrich is excited about what this season holds for the team.

“This time before every season there is hype about what the next six months holds for each team, but myself and all the guys are pumped for the season to start and are keen to show Newcastle that we are ready for anything,” he said.

With the team focused and united after one of the longest pre-season campaigns in recent memory there is a good feeling in the camp. When the Jets combine an undefeated pre-season and their biggest membership base in the club-s history, Elrich believes this season will be one of the best.

“I know I feel like I am the fittest I have been and even though we have had such a long pre-season training schedule we have all enjoyed it which is a credit to our coaching staff who have mixed it up to get the most out of us,” the defender said.

“We have definitely finished pre-season on the front foot and are confident of winning games. The guys are in great shape and I know this will show on the paddock come Saturday.”

Elrich, who has worn the Jets' colours since the inception of the A-League in the 2005/06 season, has experienced the many highs and lows that the club has faced since then. He admits the championship-winning season of 2007/08 is the obvious highlight.

“Winning the Championship was massive, especially at such a young age. I would love to bring it home for Newcastle again this year and I think with our committed fans behind us this year it-s a real possibility,” he said.

As with any home ground, supporters create an advantage and turn a stadium into a fortress. Elrich believes the Newcastle Jets have the most vocal fans in the league.

“There is no better crowd to play in front of, no matter where I have played. Nothing compares to the cheer of our crowd,” Elrich added.

“We may be one of the smaller towns in the A-League but we have big followers.”

Since the Hunter Sports Group saved the club midway through last season the Newcastle Jets have never looked back. Now they face a fresh start to the season ahead and they-re ready to fight for the championship title, with the help of their fans.