The battle between Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets gained traction and feeling as soon as the Hyundai A-League kicked off and you get the feeling in 2016/17 it’ll be another ripper.
It’s no secret these two proud clubs separated by the M1 (formally F3) freeway don’t like each other.
It was the Jets who enjoyed bragging rights last season, winning two derbies on Mariners soil, including a 4-2 drubbing in the final round of the season.
Jets fans taunted the Mariners by throwing wooden spoons onto Central Coast Stadium which didn’t go down well with the home fans, and you can be sure it will add a bit more feeling when they lock horns this season.
And both are building nicely as they look to surge up the ladder next campaign after seasons in which they both failed to finish in the six.
We’ll see the first F3 clash in Round 7, with the Mariners making the trip to Hunter Stadium on November 20.
The bitter rivals then clash twice in the last six rounds, with the Jets again hosting in Round 21 on February 25, before the Mariners welcome Newcastle to Gosford on Sunday, April 9 (Round 26).
The Mariners have already started to strengthen their squad for the new campaign, adding experienced Sydney FC trio Jacques Faty, Mickael Tavares and Ivan Necevski to their ranks.
And with Jets boss Scott Miller embarking on a trip to the UK and Scandanavia in the off-season, you can be sure there will be some exciting new faces in the Hunter as well.
And there should be big crowds at all three clashes between the two sides next season thanks to the ground-breaking membership initiative by both clubs.
Full-season ticketed members of both the Jets and Mariners can attend the away fixtures in the F3 Derby free of charge for the next two seasons as part of a partnership between the clubs.