Ex-Newcastle defender Josh Mitchell is set to face his former club as the Jets play Hong Kong outfit Eastern FC as part of their Chinese tour next week.
Mitchell, who grew up in Newcastle and spent two seasons with the Jets before moving to China in 2014, is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.
“It will be nice to see some of the guys and have a run against them,” Mitchell told the A-League’s official website.
“Nigel Boogaard is the one I’m closest with. I grew up with his wife and him as well so I have known them both for years and years. I actually contacted him about the game before it was all happening.
“A few of the other guys I played with as well. [Ben] Kantarovski and a few of the boys that have been there a while… it should be good.”
Newcastle’s recent recruit Aleksandr Kokko is set to be part of the China tour, with Mitchell hoping the Finnish striker doesn’t get into his stride just yet.
“It will be interesting to see how he goes. A new striker is always an important part of the team,” the 32-year old said.
“Hopefully, he does well for them. Not in the trial game [against us] but maybe after that.”
Interestingly, Eastern FC is managed by the first female head coach in Hong Kong history, Chan Yuen-Ting who Mitchell believes can achieve great success.
“She’s been excellent. She’s very thorough, you can tell she just wants to achieve success in her role as well as for the team,” Mitchell said.
“She’s very driven, she just wants to learn things. She’s got a good bunch of people around her and the club supports her 100% percent and the coaching staff as well, they seem to work really well together.
“I’m sure more and more female coaches will pop up and be given opportunities because it really is a case of if you do a good job you’ll get the respect you deserve, regardless of your gender.”