JASON Hoffman scored five goals in 30 minutes as the Newcastle Jets finalised preparations for the A-League with a 10-2 victory over the Young Socceroos behind closed doors at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
It was men against boys, and that's how it played out.
The Young Socceroos, made up of 17 and 18 year olds, had no answer to the pace and power of the A-League outfit.
"It was a good hit out for us," Jets coach Ernie Merrick said. "It was pretty tough on those lads. They are very young and haven't been together long. Coming up against an A-League team who have played nine games and had 14 weeks of pre-season, so I wouldn't judge them. They had some very good young players.
"It was good to see us scoring goals, that was the main thing. We practiced in the last 15 minutes, going down to 10 men and what formation we would play. It was a good physical work out. The one-twos in the box and the strikes on target were very good."
The match was the Jets' final hit out before they open their A-League campaign against the Mariners in Gosford in round two in a fortnight. They have a bye in the opening round.
Young Socceroos coach Gary van Egmond, who led the Jets to their only A-League championship in 2008, gained a lot from the game despite the lopsided scoreline.
"It was fantastic for these kids," van Egmond said. "Some of them are getting an opportunity to train with an A-League club, but they don't get an opportunity to play in an A-league game very often. For us (as coaches) it is fantastic to see them against this type of opposition. With (under-20 World Cup) qualification games coming up in November, we have been able to see another dozen players."
Hoffman opened the Jets' account in the second minute when he collected a flicked on header. His first touch was heavy but the winger showed composure to turn back on the inside and direct a shot into the right corner.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley doubled the advantage a minute later, muscling his way past defenders to head home a Dimi Petratos-corner.
Hoffman collected his second in the eighth minute when he got on the end of a piercing cross from Bobby Burns and headed into the net.
The Jets' superior size and strength was clear again when Hoffman rode two tackles and angled a shot from close range for a hat-trick inside 15 minutes.
Hoffman produces two more clinical finishes to bag five by the half hour as the lead ballooned to 6-0.
Nick Fitzgerald got in on the act in the 38th minute before the under-20s hit back with two goals in quick succession.
Dyan Ruiz-Diaz, picked the pocket of Pat Langlois and then beat Glen Moss with a low shot. The Central Coast Mariner delivered again, pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the box and angling an effort n at the near post.
Petratos, who toyed with the opposition at times, finished the half in style, collecting a through ball and driving a shot under the keeper.
Merrick made a number of changes in the second half and the Young Socceroos dug in.
Eventually the Jets class came through. Nick Fitzgerald hit a first time shot after one-touch build up from Petratos and Steve Ugarkovic in the 55th minute.
Matthew Ridention completed the scoring five minutes later, curling a freekick around the wall and into the left corner.
Apart from Hoffman, Burns caused havoc down the left, twin towers Topor-Stanley and Nigel Boogaard were strong at the back and Fitzgerald beat players at will.
Jets scholarship players, Jack Simmons and Noah James were involved for the Young Socceroos. Simmons played the first half in midfield and James was in goals for the final 20 minutes.
"They are doing well," van Egmond said of the Jets youngsters. "Jack is training with the Jets first grade squad and will look to knock on the door and get some game time. Noah is in the same boat."