Jets preparing to call Coffs home for a week
THERE is a strong possibility the Newcastle Jets will be playing a home game in Coffs Harbour this summer.
The Hyundai A-League fixture for 2016/17 isn't announced until early next month but when it is recent discussions suggests the Jets will be moving one of their matches to C.ex Coffs International Stadium.
Jets chief executive David Eland, who also heads up Northern NSW Football, confirmed the club is currently in discussions with Coffs Harbour City Council and Football Federation Australia about the game.
"It's something we are looking at but it is a long way from being confirmed. There are a whole range of things we need to work through, which we are doing at the moment," Mr Eland said.
If the match does go ahead, it is likely to be played in January with the opposition to be either the Brisbane Roar or one of Melbourne's two A-League teams.
The fact that Coffs Harbour is half way between Newcastle and Brisbane is seen as beneficial while the direct flights between Coffs Harbour and Melbourne brings an opponent like Melbourne City or Melbourne Victory into play.
Logistical issues such as suitable lighting and being able to cater for a live television broadcast of the match have already been proven during the AFL's NAB Challenge match and the City v Country rugby league matches which were broadcast to a national audience.
Coffs Harbour City Council certainly isn't counting any chickens before they hatch though.
"The opportunity to host a Newcastle Jets game in Coffs Harbour has been discussed with the club and Football Federation Australia a number of times however no final decisions have been made at this point," a council spokesperson said.
In July last year the Jets held a pre-season training camp in Coffs Harbour while the C.ex Coffs International Stadium played host to a pre-season friendly between Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers on August 7.
The Stadium has also played host in the past to Socceroos World Cup qualifiers in 2001 as well as a couple of Olympic qualifiers featuring the Matildas in 2007.