Nigel Boogaard (Adelaide United), Andy Brennan (South Melbourne), Themba Muata-Marlow (Sydney FC), Mark Birighitti (returns from loan), Jason Hoffman (Melbourne City), Lachlan Jackson (Brisbane Roar), Mateo Poljak (Western Sydney), Labinot Haliti (Western Sydney), Cam Watson (Adelaide United), Leonardo Vitor Santiago (1860 Munich), Milos Trifunovic (Radnicki Nis)
On paper, Newcastle have constructed a surprisingly decent-looking team, given the shambles of last campaign. The likes of Nigel Boogard, Jason Hoffman, Mateo Poljak and Labinot Haliti are seasoned, reliable A-League performers. Lachlan Jackson is one of the league’s most promising defensive prospects. Leonardo could be the sprinkling of stardust the team have sorely missed. Ultimately the squad is made of stronger stuff this time round, and this should give the Jets a better chance at moving up the table.
But although Newcastle’s off-season recruitment should ensure that the club have a better all-round season, at this moment in time there is a dearth of cut and dry Fantasy prospects.
Scott Miller’s side have recovered well from an early FFA Cup exit to Perth, conceding just the solitary goal in their last four games, in a 1-1 draw with Melbourne City. They already look a side who will try to keep it tight at the back and grind out results.
Predicted Round 1 side
You should consider…
Leonardo ($225k) has raised the eyebrow of many a Fantasy manager. The Brazilian boasts a solid pedigree having traversed Europe’s mid-tier leagues, averaging a decent goal every six games. Now in the home stretch of his career, there’s a lot of pressure on Leonardo to make things happen for the Jets in the final third. He could be an interesting one to keep tabs on should the 32-year old look up for the fight in the opening stages of the season: rumour has it that the Brazilian will be afforded a role as the main striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
If Newcastle tighten up defensively, Ki-je Lee ($200k) should be the prime Fantasy beneficiary. The South Korean was one of the few bright sparks for the Jets last season and fostered a reputation as one of the A-Leagues most dynamic fullbacks.
You should avoid…
Sadly, David Carney ($225k) has been classified as a midfielder for the new season. Although it doesn’t entirely rule out Carney’s potential, it’s certainly a significant drawback from what was one of the top performing hipster’s choices of last campaign. With only five crucial midfield slots to fill, selecting Carney doesn’t make sense until we know the shape and substance of the Jets team.