NPL: Tackling the Magic men

It’s not quite a top-of-the-table clash, but it’s the next best thing.

Jets Youth, currently in third on the NPL Northern NSW ladder, will take on the first place Broadmeadow Magic at Magic Park on Saturday night.

It’s a game of some significance for the young Jets – a win could see them rise into first place on the ladder, pending other results.

What’s more, the match shapes as Labi Haliti’s last as head coach of the youth team before he departs to take up a role at the Western Sydney Wanderers.

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The lads come into the match on the back of some fantastic form, with wins against Lambton and Adamstown in their last two.

Saturday’s opposition, Broadmeadow, are in first place and have lost just once this season.

That defeat came back in round one against Edgeworth – since then, they’ve won five and drawn two. Last weekend, they beat Lambton 1-0.

Labinot Haliti
It's Labi's last time on the sideline for the Jets.

Ahead of his last match in charge of the youth team, Labinot Haliti was keen to ensure the focus remained on his young charges.

“It’s emotional, but the team is important so it’s all about the boys and the boys come first,” Haliti said.

“The results speak for themselves, there have been boys step up into the first team, scholarship contracts… credit goes to Lawrie [McKinna].

“When we started this 19 months ago, things were different, and we didn’t think things were going to transition as quickly as it has so far. I thin, again, credit goes also to the players.”

With his boys sitting in third, just a point from top spot, Haliti conceded that things should still be approached one game at a time.

“Training is good, we’re taking things one at a time and the last few weeks have been good… but we’re just focused on this game,” Haliti said.

“In the time that I’ve been here, Magic have proved a very strong and very experienced side. They’re a threat to anyone in the league, they’re up the top on merit so we’re expecting a good game.”

First grade kick off is at 5pm on Saturday 18 May, at Broadmeadow’s Magic Park.