Chapman hoping for starting role

Connor Chapman has his sights set on nailing down a spot in the Jets’ starting XI for Friday’s season opener against Sydney FC.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Connor Chapman has his sights set on nailing down a spot in the Jets- starting XI for Friday-s season opener against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

With import Kew Jaliens almost certain to occupy one of the starting centre-back roles, Chapman is one of a handful of candidates who could play alongside the former Dutch international in the heart of defence against the Sky Blues.

“Gary hasn-t named the squad for the game yet, but I feel like I-ve been training well and hopefully I do slot in there and I can cement my spot,” Chapman said.

“I-m just looking forward to working hard this week and we-ll see what happens on Friday.”

Chapman said he has already learnt a lot from training alongside Jaliens and partnering the experienced Dutchman in the Jets- pre-season trial matches.

“He-s played for the Netherlands, he-s played for AZ Alkmaar and other quality teams,” Chapman said.

“The leagues he-s played in and the players he-s played with, for me to learn from him is great for me at this point of my career.

“The experience he brings is invaluable and it-s a great thing to have next to me.”

After a long pre-season, Chapman said the Jets were excited to get the season proper underway with a blockbuster clash against NSW rivals Sydney FC.

“The boys looked excellent at training today and I think everyone is very excited for the weekend,” he said.

“The fans, the players and the staff will all be pumped up for the game, so I think it will be a great way to start the A-League season.

“Players always get nervous before big games and that-s natural, but I think having some experience playing in those types of matches now will make things a lot easier this week.

“Hopefully I can play my own game and not worry about being nervous or anything like that.”