Newcastle Jets will be making their first-ever appearance at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens this year, with the club from Australia on a high after an impressive showing on the domestic scene throughout the 2017-18 season.
After struggling in recent years, Newcastle qualified for the A-League Finals behind Premiers Sydney FC, a remarkable turnaround for the club after finishing bottom of the standings the previous season. Much of the credit for that goes to head coach Ernie Merrick, who has close links with Hong Kong as the Scotland-born tactician was previously at the helm of the city’s representative team.
Youth team coach Lawrie McKinna, meanwhile, has a strong track record of working with some of the best young talent in Australia. Newcastle have been home to Socceroos such as Mark Bridge and Jade North as well as Ante Milicic, currently an assistant coach to Dutchman Bert van Marwijk, who will take the country to the finals of the World Cup in Russia in June.
Newcastle’s glory days in the A-League date back to the 2007-08 season when, after a second placed finish in the regular season, the club won the A-League Grand Final, defeating Central Coast Mariners.