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NEWCASTLE Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna says the club can’t do much more,on or off the field,to welcome fans on game day.
PASSION: Newcastle Jets supporters have had more to celebrate in 2017-18 than has been the case for many seasons. Picture: Darren Pateman
After eight rounds, Newcastle are second on the ladder and have scored 20 goals –six more than their nearest rivals.
The Jets have attracted 40,986 fans to their four home games this season at an average of 10,246, and McKinna was hopeful Saturday’s clash with Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium –which might be the last chance for Novocastrians to watch Socceroos champion Tim Cahill live in action –would be a drawcard.
As an added incentive, the Jets are offering discounted, reserved tickets in the eastern stand at a cost of two for $30.
“This is the third game where we’ve had special ticket deals, so we’re doing our best to entice people to come,” McKinna said.
“The boys are playing good football, and getting results on the park. So we think the boys deserve a big crowd to play in front of, and hopefully the public get behind us on Saturday night, up against Melbourne City and Tim Cahill, who’s been one of the Socceroos’ real heroes.
“We had more than 14,000 for our first home game of the season, so it would be great to get up somewhere near that on Saturday.”
McKinna said “you’re not going to go to another stadium in Australia and get a grandstand, reserved ticket for just 15 bucks”.
Newcastle’s home crowds are up on last season, when an average of 8645 turned out each game to support them in a season that culminated inthe wooden spoon.
In their 2007-08 premiership-winning season, their home crowds averaged 14,176, including a full house of22,960 for the opening round of the finals.
This season’s attendances include 6258 on a wet night against Wellington, and last week’s Thursday night game against Melbourne Victory (8427).
“We’ve been happy with our crowds so far, but new fans are always welcome,” McKinna said.
“We’ve been scoring goals, and it’s a good atmosphere. Newcastle has been waiting for so long to have a successful team, and this year we’re heading in the right direction.
“We want everyone to jump on the bus. If you haven’t been to a game for a while, come along, bring a friend, and enjoy the atmosphere.”
Adding to the occasion on Saturday night, there will be a special presentation to Newcastle’sErnie Merrickwhen he become’s the first A-League coach to reach the 250-game milestone.
A win by the Jets against third-placed City would lift Newcastle at least six points clear of their nearest rivals in the race for a top-two finish.