Big boost for run-in

Captain Ben Harris in discussion with the referee in Mackay. Alex Tabillon listens in. Picture: Alison Langevad - Langevad Sports Photography

ONE match doesn’t make a season, but Jets’ Ben Harris believes last week’s victory in Mackay was significant.

Jets travelled north with one of their youngest squads (average age 20.7), captain Alex Janovsky suspended, four teenagers including keeper Bertrum Speirs, 16, making his debut.

Three penalties were awarded against them, but Jets won 4-1 for their first victory in seven games and face Western Pride tomorrow (Saturday) with renewed confidence.

“I think a good away trip and a good away win does make a significant difference to a season,” said Ben, who skippered the team for the first time.

“It was great to see the boys so happy. I wish we’d had the away game earlier in the season for that camaraderie.

“Hopefully that win turns things around or us and we can finish the season strong.”

The captaincy experience was “amazing” he added.

Goalscorer Nick Bernardi on the defensive. Picture: Alison Langevad - Langevad Sports Photography

“Being a junior at the club it is always nice to come up and feel you can have a leadership role and make a difference,” Ben said.

“Watching Alex last season and this year has given me some hints on what to do as a leader, but I think I this team, everyone steps up as a leader in their own way.

“The younger players are definitely holding their own, which is good.

“I always found it was good to have an older player constantly reminding me (to concentrate) and that’s what I tried to do.”

Western Pride are three placed below 10th-placed Jets and fighting relegation, but have won three of their last five games.

“They seem to have changed their style a little bit,” said Ben, “now they are quite aggressive in the way they press and they beat Gold Coast United on the weekend, which was a big result for them.

“To ignore that would be a rookie mistake, but we still have to be confident knowing what we have going forward - and we can defend well.”

In NPL matches between the sides Jets have won six, Western Pride four and two have been draws. Jets have scored five in each of their last two games.

Close encounter for Bertrum Speirs and Ben Harris in Mackay with Brad Stewart and Jackson Courtney-Perkins in support. Picture: Alison Langevad - Langevad Sports Photography

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