Newcastle Jets’ CEO Lawrie McKinna has given Ballarat’s Morshead Park a glowing endorsement following its preseason A-League clash with Melbourne City.
McKinna said the club was “envious” of Ballarat’s facilities and was excited by the prospect of returning to Ballarat for future A-League matches.
“The hospitality we’ve had has been amazing and we’d love to come back next year,” McKinna said.
“We’re envious. If we could have something like this in Newcastle it’d be great.
“The facilities you have here compared to what we have in Newcastle – we don’t have something like this. We’ve got some good local state grounds, but not as nice as this.
“Five (BDSA) games on it yesterday and a little bit of rain and the game on it today, the park held up. It was a bit slippy but some good football was played by both teams.”
McKinna said the players had also expressed their gratitude towards the pitch and said it had exceeded expectations.
The A-League preseason fixture has undoubtedly ticked all the boxes Ballarat Red Devils Football Director Andrew Burgess had hoped for. With the surface, facilities and region all receiving a glowing appraisal. In what was a huge step forward in gaining more A-League exposure to Ballarat.
Melbourne City coach John van’t Schip echoed McKinna’s thoughts and said while the ground was understandably slippery given the untimely weather throughout the week he felt it was a great facility.
“The facilities are really good,” van’t Schip said.
“We’re always looking for games.”
Newcastle Jets won the encounter 4-0 against a young Melbourne City outfit in front of a crowd just shy of 2000.
With City’s Football Federation Australia Cup match on Wednesday, the club opted to give its youth some experience on Sunday.
Andrew Nabbout got the Jets off to a great start scoring in the 16th minute. Before Newcastle once again found the back of the net in the 44th minute.
Marten Nordstrand kicked the third goal for the Jets in the 70th minute to put the result beyond doubt. Nine minutes later a great passage of team play delivered Devante Clut his first goal of the day and Newcastle’s fourth.
The victory is another installment in what has been strong preseason as the Jets continue to move forward having parted ways with their head coach Scott Miller last week – one month out from round one. Former Socceroo Clayton Zane has been appointed stand-in coach as the club expects to make a decision by next week.