Preview: Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart

It's the Big Kick Off! Jets go all out for a Heart-stopping start as the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season raises its curtain at Ausgrid Stadium...

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart Saturday 8th October, 4:30pm

It's the Big Kick Off! Jets go all out for a Heart-stopping start as the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season raises its curtain at Ausgrid Stadium...

Here we go again! After a painfully football-free winter, after all of the pre-season talk and predictions, the transfer speculation, the build-up and the friendlies, the day is almost here! The Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season is about to begin.

And what a season it is set to be! Are you ready for the drama, the goals, the thrills, the controversy, the passion, the agony and the glory of another thrilling campaign? Of course you are! So make sure you get yourself a ticket to this opening-day clash and sing your side to a winning start.

After the most incredibly topsy-turvy Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, which saw them go from teetering on the bring of extinction, to rubbing shoulders with LA Galaxy, to missing out on the play-offs by one position, Newcastle Jets are geared up for a full-on assault on the finals places this time round.

The season-ending injury to amrquee man jason Culina and subsequent shock sacking of coach Branko will doubtless have an impact on this game. A shame, as the Jets' transfer policy in the off-season has been smart and Fury striker Chris Payne adds some much needed fire-power to their attack-line. If they can keep as tight at the back as they were last season, while finding the net with a bit more regularity, Jets are certainly a force to be reckoned with this time round.

Melbourne Heart will also be looking to show how far they've progressed. This time last year, they made their Hyundai A-League bow with a narrow defeat at home to Central Coast Mariners but soon settled into their inaugural campaign.

By the end of the season, they were a tough proposition for any opponent, and came close to squeezing into the play-offs. This season, they'll be absolutely determined to go one better. New signing David Williams will be looking to get amongst the goals, as will Brazilian Maycon Carvalho Inez, while Jonathan Germano will add more South American flair. And then, of course, there's Helbert Frederico Carreiro da Silva, better known as Fred.

The Brazilian has been announced as club captain and Heart supporters will be hoping that the former Victory man can do the business for them in the midfield.

There is a certain amount of history between these sides. While Jets won their match in Victoria, Heart picked up their first point and first ever competitive goal (scored inadvertently by Jets' Ben Kantarovski) in Newcastle in Week Two and also secured their first ever away win with a 2-0 triumph at Port Macquarie Regional Stadium a year ago.

There was also little to choose between these two teams at the end of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season - just goal difference in fact - so this one is certain to be a close affair that could go either way. Therefore, your support is more vital than ever if your side is to get of to a winning start. Squadron, make some noise and help the team to three points!

Let's get the new season off to a flying start, with non-stop noise, passion and energy in the stands. You've waited so long for it - make sure you're there for the Big Kick Off!