Merrick praises triallists as Jets overrun Young Socceroos

Ernie Merrick will give Newcastle Jets' triallists an extended opportunity to earn Hyundai A-League contracts after all four impressed in a friendly win over the Young Socceroos on Thursday.

Last season's Grand Finalists prevailed 4-1 over their less experienced opposition, who are preparing for next month's AFC U19 Championship with a training camp on the Central Coast.

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Avondale ace Kaine Sheppard was on target for Newcastle while former Melbourne Victory man Mitch Austin, Bentleigh Greens goalkeeper Ryan Scott and ex-Wellington Phoenix gloveman Lewis Italiano were also afforded significant minutes.

"All four triallists performed well," Merrick told the Newcastle Herald.

"We'll keep them trialling for a little bit longer. If they've got to go back [home] again this weekend, we might get them back again.

"We can't sign all of them, but they've all fitted in very well."

Roy O'Donovan, Daniel Georgievski and Maki Petratos joined 24-year-old FFA Cup star Sheppard on the scoresheet.

Kaine Sheppard
Kaine Sheppard did his case for a contract no harm.

Scores had been level at half-time and the Young Socceroos, led by Ante Milicic, earned praise from Merrick.

"There was none of this parking the bus or some teams foul us so much. There was none of that," he said.

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"They were fair and they were honest and they were open and they were attacking. 

"It was a good game and the 4-1 result probably flatters us a little bit.

"In the second half we started to take control… but it was pretty close until the last 10 or 15 minutes."