GRUNT work complete, Ernie Merrick and the Jets have switched focus to preparing for their A-League season-opener against the Central Coast Mariners in a fortnight.
They will have to do it without talisman Dimi Petratos and young guns Johnny Koutroumbis and Angus Thurgate.
Petratos has been called into the Socceroos for Massimo Luongo and joins the squad in Canberra on Monday ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Nepal (Thursday) and away to Chinese Taipei on October 15.
Koutroumbis and Thursgate left on Sunday with the Olyroos for a training camp in Doha.
The trio will be back in Newcastle on Thursday, October 18, two days before the F3 derby in Gosford.
The Jets thrashed the Young Socceroos 10-2 in their final pre-season hit out on Saturday.
Petratos scored a goal and set up another for Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
Veteran winger Jason Hoffman was the star of the show, netting five first-half goals.
"Jason Hoffman was showing off a little bit," Merrick said. "We have been doing a lot of work on two-touch football in that front half, whether it be a counter attack or keeping possession, and the boys did it really well."
The Jets have the bye in the opening round next weekend, providing an extra week to prepare for the Mariners.
"It's not about technique or physical work, now it is about game play and strategy," Merrick said. "We have always been working on the tactical side but there is more of a focus on it now. We have seen the Mariners play twice and we will see them in the first round as well. The focus is on the Mariners' formation and how we will play against that. It is not about individual players, it's how we will play against their formation."
The Jets' starting side is all but assured apart from injury concerns for Abdiel Arroyo (hamstring) and Ben Kantarovski (hamstring).
"We have 18 players who are ready to go," Merrick said.
Hoffman was deployed at left back earlier in the pre-season but showed his worth in the front third against the Young Socceroos.
"Wherever I play Jason he does a job," Merrick said. "He was deadly in attack today. Plus he drops into midfield and wins the ball for us as well. He is a really hard-working striker, and they are hard to find."
Apart from Hoffman, Bobby Burns also performed strongly at left fullback.
The Northern Ireland teenager got up and down the touchline and delivered a cross to the back post for Hoffman to head home.
"I discovered today that Bobby is very coachable," Merrick said. "In the first half he played Scottish-Irish football, where every ball goes down the line and it goes over the top of midfield.
"I told him to play through midfield and that I didn't mind if he comes inside. He did that so much better in the second half. He is good at ball recovery, it was more about going forward and giving himself more options. I feel as though a player who is more coachable, you can do more with."