ARTHUR Papas is focused on ensuring the Newcastle Jets are ready for the FFA Cup qualifier against Western United but the coach is also keeping an eye on the Tokyo Olympics.
Jets defender Dane Ingham made his Olympics debut for New Zealand in their 1-0 win over South Korea on Thursday and was also in the XI that lost 3-2 to Honduras on Sunday night. Winger Joey Champness played the final five minutes on Sunday.
Midfielder Cam Devlin is in the Olyroos squad but is yet to feature.
"I spoke to them and wished them all the best before the competition started," Papas said. "Dane played against South Korea the other day and did really well. The other boys didn't feature.
"Just going away to camps and competing against the best players in your age group. That will definitely help someone improve their game and give them a greater awareness of what is out their beyond our shores."
The players will have to complete 14 days quarantine on return to Australia.
Whether Devlin and Champness end up at the Jets remains to be seen.
Devlin has attracted firm interest from Europe, while Champness initially expressed a desire to stay at the Brisbane Roar, with whom he spent last season on loan.
"At the moment they are contracted," Papas said.
Initially scheduled to play Western United on August 8, the match has been pushed back to August 17, but that will hinge on Victoria reopening borders to NSW.
Papas got a first look at the players he has on deck and a host of trialists in an intraclub hit out on Saturday.
"We played three 20-minute periods and they ran it out really strongly which was positive," Papas said. "It was a case of getting 60 minutes under their belt and also an introduction to the way I want to play."
The Jets will play another intraclub game on Saturday and have also lined up hit outs against Edgeworth and Broadmeadow.