Jets happy with ACL draw

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond said he was happy with the Jets' draw in the upcoming Asian Champions League.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond said he was happy with the Jets' draw in the upcoming Asian Champions League.

The Jets avoided some of the heavyweights of the competition after being named alongside Ulsan Hyundai Horang-I (Korea), Beijing Guoan (China) and Nagoya Grampus (Japan) in Group E of the AFC 2009 Champions League at the official draw in Dubai on Wednesday night.

"I thought both ourselves and Central Coast have done quite well," van Egmond said from Dubai.

"We were looking at it and both Suwon and Antlers in one group was probably the group you didn't want to go into. And I thought groups E and H were favourable and in particular for ourselves. We are quite happy with where we are at."

Despite the 'favourable' draw Van Egmond stressed that there would be no easy games in the ACL.

"I don't think if you ever get to the Asian Champions League there is ever a soft draw," he said. "It is not going to be as hard as Group F or Group G but I think it is going to be a difficult task for us to get through."

"In saying that, for us it is important to recruit and recruit well for the Champions League which will then lead us into the 2009/10 A-League season with more confidence than we have had in recent times."

Van Egmond indicated the Jets were keen to strengthen their squad for the ACL and the lure of playing in the Champions League had made Newcastle more attractive for potential recruits.

"There are definitely some names that are further down the track than others but I'd prefer not to say anything until we get their name on one of our letterheads," said the Newcastle coach.

"But between now and the end of January there will be four to half-a-dozen players come into the Jets line-up."

"We are not blind to the fact that there is other options for players, but we are getting more interest than usual especially from overseas contingents due to the fact we are going to be represented in the Champions League, so that has helped with the likelihood of getting players in."

"We are still looking at players from everywhere, not just from Asia, but hopefully we will have a player from Korea to look at next week but we are looking high and wide for talent to make our team the best it can be."