While there was no finals football for the Newcastle Jets last season, there were plenty of encouraging signs that there's some solid foundations that have been laid to become a genuine title contender in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season.
With an impressive crop of young talent being nurtured into the team by the astute Ernie Merrick, joining a number of established Hyundai A-League stars and there's an exciting blend brewing in the Hunter.
Of course, it's all about results and the Jets will want to hit the ground running to ensure they are challenging for honours again this season.
Here we break down the three clashes that are set to get Jets fans ultra-excited in 2019/20.
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Can the Jets exact some derby revenge?
With the Jets having the bye in Round 1, Ernie Merrick’s troops get the chance to set the tone for the campaign against their nearest rivals from down the F3.
The boys from the Hunter will feel they owe the Mariners one for what transpired last time the two clubs met, a dramatic win for Central Coast which put an end to Newcastle’s finals charge.
Adding even further spice to this clash is the fact that the Jets squad will include former Mariner Matt Millar, who angered many at the Gosford club when he decided to sign with their fierce neighbours.
The last time the Jets opened their season in Gosford they ran out convincing 5-1 winners and they’ll be hoping for a repeat performance and result in this one.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Hyundai A-League Season Draw released
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Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
Round 2 – Saturday 19 October
Central Coast Stadium
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Will the Jets get one over ‘God’ just days after Christmas?
If this clash isn’t the ideal post-Christmas present then you are hard to please.
Just a few days after Christmas, the Jets welcome Robbie Fowler’s Brisbane Roar to town for a meeting that is sure to have more riding on it than just the three points.
In the Roar squad is likely to be their talismanic striker Roy O’Donovan, with many Jets fans yet to forgive the Irishman for walking out on their side at the end of last season and move north.
The Jets have a new Irish hero to adore now in Wes Hoolahan and the appearance of those two alone makes this a clash not to be missed
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar
Round 12 – Saturday 28 December
McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Can Newcastle repeat their AAMI Park heroics?
Clashes between the Jets and Victory have always had a bit extra in them, especially recently with the frosty relationship between opposing coaches Merrick and Kevin Muscat.
And while Muscat is no longer steering the Victory ship, it won’t take away from the spectacle between two clubs developing quite a rivalry.
A trip to Melbourne to take on Victory has rarely ended will for the Jets in the Hyundai A-League but could this be the season they put things right.
They certainly won’t fear going there after their impressive 3-2 come-from-behind win over Marco Kurz’s side in the FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 earlier this month.
Throw in the prospect of facing their former star Andrew Nabbout and this encounter has all the ingredients to be a classic.
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets
Round 13 – Sunday 5 January
Kick-off: 4pm AEDT