TRUE COLOURS: Twins Makye and Elke Telfer, of Thornton, will be among the Newcastle sports fans with a tough choice today. Picture: Jonathan CarrollKnights bank on Dobson to deliver
Tall order for Jets facing Orlando Engelaar
SPORTING DECLARATION: Our town, our teams
HUNTER sports fans will have their loyalties firmly tested today as the region’s two national football teams kick off within an hour of each other.
The Newcastle Jets and the Newcastle Knights will be vying for the hearts and minds of their city.
It’s a dilemma for those Knights supporters who follow the Jets in the National Rugby League off season, and vice versa.
Aiden Kelaher, 25, of Adamstown Heights, said it was too tough to call.
‘‘I will be watching both red and blue teams run around on two TVs next to each other,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ll mainly focus on the Knights bringing us a victory away from home, and then I’ll be turning my focus to watch the yo-yo that is the Jets.’’
With the regular A-League soccer season nearing an end the Jets will face a resurgent Melbourne Heart at home at Hunter Stadium, with both pushing for a playoffs berth.
The Heart have won five of their last six matches.
The Jets are looking to address their inconsistencies, coming off an inspirational win over the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The game kicks off at 5.30pm.
An hour earlier, the Knights will open their season against Penrith at Panthers Stadium, with the game televised on Foxtel from 4.30pm.
Both Newcastle sides arguably over-achieved last season and many fans will want to see how the Knights cope with the loss of captain Jarrod Mullen.
It’s a tough choice, especially in the Telfer household at Thornton, where nine-year-old twins Elke and Makye wore their love for the different codes on red-and-blue sleeves this week.
‘‘I’m just hoping everyone ends up a winner,’’ their mum Kristen said.
Others such as Jordan Griffiths, 25, of Merewether, were hoping for a strong start by the Knights after growing frustrated with the Jets’ ‘‘hot and cold’’ season so far.
Nathan Hartcher, 23, also of Merewether, described himself as a true defender of the kingdom.
‘‘I’ll be watching the Knights for sure’’ he said.
However, James Eymael, 25, of Hamilton, will have his eyes firmly on the live action at Hunter Stadium: ‘‘We’re coming up against the form team of the comp, so it’s going to be a cracker of a game,’’ he said.
Match previews, Sport