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Jets aiming high

Ethan Grimley battles past two Roar players the last time Jets were at Wolter Park in the NPL, at the end of last year.

Coach Royce Brownlie says his squad has simple targets for the 2021 NPL Qld campaign which starts at Wolter Park on Sunday against Redlands, kick-off 4pm.

“The expectation from us is we want to play good football and we want to put on a good show,” said Royce, “do that and I think the results will come.

“We want to set high standards in trying to reach the top four. Play confident, attacking football, keep a clean sheet and hopefully that will take us there.”

Jets coach Royce Brownlie

Jets finished fifth last season, 14 points behind Lions in fourth. Jackson Courtney-Perkins (joined Port Melbourne), Lachie Strogusz (injured) and Stephen Green (retired) are among the players missing this year.

However, defenders Chris Maher, Sam Knight and Taylor Walkinshaw have been recruited along with midfielders Royo Ono and Joe Scott.

“Last year I felt the balance of the squad was right,” said Royce, “this year, with the changes, we have to find that balance again.

"Right now I think we’re four weeks off where I want us to be - but we are getting there.

“From a balance point of view, I wanted to bring in Chris Maher, Taylor and Sam Knight to give us more experience.

“Hopefully they will help steady the ship and help us win the tough games, which are usually against the lesser teams. Everyone turns up against the bigger sides.

I think people will really want to get behind us this year.”

One of the new signings, Chris Maher, who joined from Brisbane Strikers, wants to play finals football again and believes Jets’ targets this season are “realistic”.

New signing Chris Maher

“I spoke to Royce about what I wanted to achieve, as a senior player - to join a club that wanted to finish in the top four and wanted to play in the finals series again,” said Chris.

“That’s what I felt Moreton Bay would be able to do with the players here and how well they finished last year considering the injuries."

After two months with the squad Chris says: "Everyone here is on the same page on how we want to go.”

But, having played in the NPL Qld for seven years (since 2014), he believes the competition is “definitely tougher now”.

“I’ve looked at a couple of older games, Strikers against Moreton Bay, 2015 and today’s standard is far and beyond what it was like then,” he said.

“I don’t think those teams would have been able to compete in what we have now. The game is a lot faster, more technical and physically demanding on players than five or six years ago.”

Jets' Under 18s and Under 23s play their Redlands counterparts before the Men at Wolter Park on Sunday, kicking off at 11.45am and 1.45pm respectively.

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