Bailey backs the boys


Bailey Ratcliff drives at the Roar defence during last season's 4-2 Grand Final victory.

Captain Bailey Ratcliff says Jets are "up for the challenge" of tomorrow's Under 23 semi-final against Brisbane Roar at Wolter Park, kick-off 7pm.


It has been two weeks since Jets finished their regular NPL season in second -three points ahead of Roar - and booked a second successive finals series.


Since then the focus has been on the semi and the skipper said: "I back the boys to do the job (on Friday), individually and as a team.


"Personally, I love these games," Bailey added. "It's why you do pre-season and then play 20-odd games.


"I think the intensity and excitement have been building (in the squad) and perhaps some nerves among some of the boys.


"We have a younger squad and a younger mentality this year. It's about getting in the right head space to help the team."


Twelve months ago Jets finished second behind Roar, but ahead of Lions, and went on to win a thrilling grand final 4-2 in extra time at Perry Park.

The celebrations starts after Jets' thrilling grand final win last season.

Only four members of that squad will be on the team sheet tomorrow night - Bailey Ratcliff, Cooper O'Regan, Damin Anderson and Daniel Johnson.


All four are more experienced having also played in Jets' senior side this season, but Bailey is still chasing a pre-season target.


The 20-year-old was "hoping for 20 goals this season". He is currently on 16, with four coming in a nine-goal thriller with Roar at Wolter Park.


Jets lost 5-4 but avenged that defeat with a 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture, showing again that goals have not been a problem this season.


"I think both 18-yard boxes will be the key (to tomorrow's game)," said Bailey, who joined Jets from Sunshine Coast Wanderers at the beginning of last year.


"Both sides have good forwards. We will have to defend well as a team and try to be clinical in what we do - at both ends."


The second semi-final sees Under 23 Premiers Lions host Gold Coast United at Richlands on Saturday, kick-off 5pm.

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