Newcastle Jets youngsters Kristian Brymora and Cameron Joice will be aiming to impress coach Scott Miller and his staff over the next three days when the Jets battle two of Hong Kong’s top professional sides at the Bao’an Stadium in Shenzhen, China.
Miller confirmed that the attacking duo - who have both improved markedly under the tutelage of Clayton Zane in the club’s youth system in 2016 - will have roles to play when Newcastle face Eastern SC and Kitchee SC in games two and three of the club’s tour of China this week.
Striker Brymora played 68 minutes against Liaoning Whowin FC in Saturday’s 3-2 win. The 17-year-old marksman won a penalty that was successfully converted by Andrew Hoole in the 66th minute and generally toiled determinedly upfront in what was just his second appearance for the Jets’ senior side.
Joice, also 17, featured as a substitute late on in the win over Liaoning, and like Brymora he can expect to play significant minutes as Miller rotates his squad in the club’s pre-season games on Wednesday and Friday.
Following training in Shenzhen on Tuesday morning Miller said the young players on the trip had adjusted well to the demands of the professional environment, but also challenged them to produce strong performances when they get their opportunities.
“The youth team boys will certainly play a part in the next two fixtures,” Miller said. “What I am seeing in training is that they are getting a real grasp of the philosophy that we are trying to put in place in terms of the structures and patterns and movements.”
“They are mature young boys, young men, and they are taking on the information well, but now it is about seeing it in context in an environment that will challenge them,” he said.
Both Brymora and Joice are still at high school completing their HSC.
In fact, Joice will travel to Canberra to sit exams just a day after returning to Australia from the Jets’ China tour.
“We get back on the 5th and I will travel home, have a shower and then travel down to Canberra where I will sit exams on the 7th and 8th,” Joice explained.
While being away from the books is not ideal for the pair, both are relishing the chance to spend an extended period with Newcastle’s first team traveling internationally, learning, and playing against foreign opposition.
“It’s my first experience being away professionally,” Brymora said. “I am really enjoying being here - I have learnt so much already and we are only half way through the trip.”
“I have already been for a run-through with the gaffer [Scott Miller] and he is really helping me and supporting me, along with the rest of the boys.”
“I feel physically and mentally prepared to keep on pushing for the next game,” he said.
Newcastle Jets will play the reigning Hong Kong Premier League Champions Eastern SC on Wednesday 31 August 2016 at 4:30pm local time (6:30pm AEST).