EXECUTIVE chairman Shane Mattiske is adamant the Newcastle Jets will be ready for whatever is thrown at them as the likelihood of a delay to the start of the A-League season increases.
The new competition is flagged to kick off on October 28.
But with Sydney in a COVID-enforced lockdown until at least the end of September and strict border restrictions in operation in other states, the season is expected to be pushed back.
The schedule is due to break for an international window from November 8-16 and the league start could potentially be held back until the following weekend.
There are also likely to be restrictions around ground capacity.
Mattiske said the situation remained fluid.
"We are focusing on what we can control, which is putting together a really competitive team," he said. "We will be prepared to adapt to whatever is decided around when the competition commences and how it is rolled out."
The Jets have overhauled the roster under new coach Arthur Papas. With 13 new players and potentially more to come, a delay could prove beneficial.
"Our squad is training really hard," Mattiske said. "We have a new group of players and it is really important for them to gel together and get across the philosophy that [coach] Arthur Papas is implementing, in terms of how we will play. We are focusing on those elements we can control."
Jets defender Matt Jurman said the uncertainty was a "bit frustrating" but was appreciative that they were still able to train.
"As a footballer and a team, you look forward to having dates in mind when the the first game will be and all that," he said. "But you have to put things in perspective and realise what is happening. We are pretty fortunate to be able to keep training and doing what we love. There are a lot of people who can't do that."
The Jets and other NSW-based A-League clubs have an exemption to train but are unable to play trial matches.
"Everyone is buying into what the boss is trying to do with the team and the way he wants us to play," Jurman said.
"It is good being able to play 11v 11 in house. It helps with fitness, playing out from the back and getting used to everyone playing together. It would be good if we had some competitive games or trial matches. It is a different mentality. But it is what it is. We have to make the most of the situation."
Other national competitions have used hubs to complete their seasons. The NRL moved all teams and their families to Queensland at a cost reported to be $12 million a week. The A-League doesn't have the finances to follow suit.
IN THE NEWS:
- AJ search volunteers taking COVID tests after potential Putty exposure
- Hunter vaccination rates more than 20% lower than parts of Sydney
- Hunter records 7 new COVID-19 cases, 4 infectious in community
- Anthony "AJ" Elfalak has been found alive near a creek three days after his disappearance
- NSW records 1220 COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: