JETS coach Ernie Merrick believes youngsters Joey Champness and Angus Thurgate can capitalise on opportunity and establish themselves as starting-XI regulars next season.
Champness and Thurgate appear the logical beneficiaries after Newcastle officials opted to part company with overseas imports Roy O'Donovan and Ronny Vargas.
While the Jets have an estimated $500,000 to spend on replacements, Merrick has spent the past two seasons grooming Champness and Thurgate and expects the Australian junior representatives to continue developing.
Champness, 22, has appeared in 36 A-League games for Newcastle, 18 in the run-on side. Thurgate, 19, has made 16 appearances but only three as a starter.
Both underlined their potential as the Jets won three of their final four regular-season games, against Wanderers, Brisbane and Sydney FC.
"I think they've got to produce consistent performances, but on the evidence I've seen in the last two games of the season, that's very possible," Merrick said.
"In our last game, Joey was up against one of the best fullbacks in the league in Rhyan Grant, and he had an exceptional game.
"And in the midfield, I reckon the combination of the two Sydney boys [Josh] Brillante and [Brandon] O'Neill is one of the best in the league, and that's where Angus performed."
Merrick has mainly used Champness as a winger but admitted he might also have the skill set to lead the front line.
"I think he could be a central striker," Merrick said.
"But if you've got the pace that Joey has, it's easier to isolate a defender.
"So when Joey goes out wide and isolates a player, and takes them on one v one in that front third, he can get behind them and that's what he does really well.
"If he goes on the outside, he hits an early cross. If he goes on the inside, he can shoot for goal.
"So that sort of position is tailor made for him, and he can do it on the left side or the right side."
Merrick said he felt Thurgate was ideally suited to attacking midfield, rather than deeper in defence, where he plays for the Young Socceroos.
"I'd say his best position is in the middle, probably a No.8, attacking midfield, not quite a 10," he said.
"He's got the physical capacities to back it up. He's got a very, very high level of endurance ... he's quick but he's got the ability to maintain high intensity levels.
"He's one of the boys that's able to sustain very high heart rates. I think he's got the record at the club. He's been over 206 heartbeats a minute.
"So he's built for endurance, up-and-down play, and we always encourage them to go forward."
Merrick also believes defender Lachlan Jackson is ready to challenge veterans Nigel Boogaard and Nikolai Topor-Stanley for more game time. Jackson, 24, has played in 67 A-League games but made only 13 starting appearances this season.
"With Lachlan's height, his speed and his strength, it's very unusual to have someone as strong as that and as quick as well," Merrick said.
"Plus technically he's very good, particularly on his left foot ...
"On their stats, Nikolai and Nigel are two of the best centre backs playing together in the league.
"So it's been hard for Lachlan to play there.
"I've given him some games there, and some games at left back, and he's going to be pushing in one of those positions for a regular role if he keeps progressing."