Jets set for three game China tour

Newcastle Jets’ Hyundai A-League 2016/17 pre-season preparations will head international tomorrow when the squad takes off on a 12-day tour to China which will include three matches against foreign opponents in two different cities.

Scott Miller’s squad will depart for the world’s most populous nation on Thursday morning to play friendly fixtures against Liaoning Whowin FC of the Chinese Super League (CSL), as well as Eastern Sports Club and Kitchee Sports Club of the Hong Kong Premier League (HKPL).

The team will first venture to the city of Huludao in Liaoning Province to face Liaoning Whowin FC on the evening of Saturday 27 August. Well-known and highly regarded Australian players Dario Vidosic and Michael Thwaite are currently on the books of the Northeast Tigers, who are in 13th place on the CSL standings.

From Huludao in China’s north the Jets will travel south to Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, which is the home of the Club’s Owner and Chairman Mr Martin Lee and Ledman Group.

Newcastle will take to the field against Eastern SC on the afternoon of August 31 at the 40,000 capacity Bao’an Stadium in Shenzhen, before backing up 48 hours later against Kitchee SC at the same venue.

Like Liaoning Whowin FC both Eastern SC and Kitchee SC possess an Australian flavour in their playing ranks - former Jets defender Josh Mitchell could feature for Eastern, while former Sydney FC Youth player Jared Lum may play for Kitchee.

Newcastle Jets set for China tour


The 2016/17 HKPL commences this weekend, so both Eastern and Kitchee will have one competitive game under their belts before they face the Jets.

One of the final stops on the club’s China tour will be on Saturday 3 September when the Jets unite with players, coaches and officials from Martin Lee’s other professional football club, Shenzhen Renren, for a visit to the Ledman Group facilities in Huizhou City.

At Ledman headquarters the Jets will have the chance to learn more about Ledman Group’s operations, meet company staff, and show appreciation to both Lee and Ledman Group.

Newcastle Jets Chief Executive Officer Lawrie McKinna said the Club’s players and staff would seek to represent the Hyundai A-League with distinction and pride while in China.

“To have the opportunity to go and play three games in China is fantastic for the Club,” McKinna said.

“This will be a great opportunity for Newcastle Jets to show the local football public and business community that the Jets can fly the flag for the Hunter Valley and Northern New South Wales in Asia.”

Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna with Jia Yuan from the '12th Man' football app. Images courtesy Newcastle Jets


Meanwhile, Newcastle Jets Head Coach Scott Miller said: “I think the trip represents an incredible opportunity not only for the club but importantly the squad. The club hasn’t travelled internationally in the last couple of years, so there is an exclusiveness attached to the trip that is something special.”

Miller added: “We are all looking at the trip as an opportunity to prove ourselves in our areas of expertise. We are looking forward to it, but as professionals it’s about our preparation and attitude, and making sure we arrive in China with the right mentality to perform at a high level.”

Three of the Jets’ Foxtel National Youth League squad members in Kristian Brymora, Cameron Joice and Cody Carroll have been selected to travel with the squad to China, while former Tianjin Teda midfielder Ma Leilei will be assessed throughout the trip in a trial capacity.

Newcastle Jets 2016 China Tour - #JetsInChina Key Events

Date Event Location Kick-off
Thursday 25 August 2016 Depart Australia    
Saturday 27 August 2016 Match 1 vs. Liaoning Whowin FC Huludao City Stadium, Huludao, China 7:30pm (local), 9:30pm (AEST)
Wednesday 31 August 2016 Match 2 vs. Eastern Sports Club Bao’an Stadium, Shenzhen, China 4:30pm (local), 6:30pm (AEST)
Friday 2 September 2016 Match 3 vs. Kitchee Sports Club Bao’an Stadium, Shenzhen, China 4:30pm (local), 6:30pm (AEST)
Saturday 3 September 2016 Ledman Group Facility Tour Ledman Group, Huizhou City, China  
Monday 5 September 2016 Arrive Australia    
#JetsInChina Squad
Squad Number First Name Last Name Position Nationality
1 Ben Kennedy Goalkeeper Australian
2 Daniel Mullen Defender Australian
3 Jason Hoffman Defender Australian
4 Nigel Boogaard Defender Australian
5 Ben Kantarovski Midfielder Australian
6 Steven Ugarkovic Midfielder Australian
7 Andrew Hoole Midfielder Australian
8 Mateo Poljak Midfielder Croatian
9 Aleksandr Kokko Forward Finnish
10 Wayne Brown Midfielder British
11 Labinot Haliti Forward Australian
15 Andrew Nabbout Midfielder Australian
16 Nicholas Cowburn Defender Australian
19 Morten Nordstrand Forward Danish
20 Jack Duncan Goalkeeper Australian
22 Lachlan Jackson Defender Australian
23 Devante Clut Midfielder Australian
24 Kristian Brymora Foward Australian
25 Cody Carroll Midfielder Australian
34 Cameron Joice Forward Australian
Trialist Leilei Ma Midfielder Chinese