The Jets kick off their A-League campaign against Central Coast Mariners on October 19, as they have a bye in round one.

The Hunter outfit has notched up draws against Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers, and Perth Glory in the past few months, along with losses to Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United, and a victory over Melbourne Victory.

Further planned friendlies with Melbourne City and Central Coast have been scrapped at the last moment over the cost of the City clash and the closeness of the A-League game with the Mariners.

Newcastle have already played nine matches in total in pre-season, which coach Ernie Merrick is happy with, but could face off against Gary van Egmond’s Under-20s before the season begins.

"We may have a game against them," Merrick said. "But that’s not confirmed. If we do that will be our last game.

:We’ve played nine matches, six of them against A-League sides. I’m pretty happy with the way we’ve been playing.

"The next two weeks will be high-intensity training, two squads of 10 against 10.

"We’re happy with the way the pre-season has gone. So the last couple of weeks will just be intensive training, and in the last week or so taper down."

Merrick is pleased with the squad he has assembled and should have a full roster to choose for their opener, apart from injured number 10 Wes Hoolahan.

"We’ve got a strong defence, a good midfield, we just need the strikers to finish things off,” he said.

"We’ve got to play with the strengths that we have. We’re back to a more traditional front three and that got us into a grand final. We’ll just have about everyone ready for the first game, except for Wes."

Merrick said new recruit Bobby Burns, who has joined the Jets from Scottish club Hearts, will compete with John Koutrombis for the starting left back position.

"Bobby, he loves the weather but he’s struggling to train in the heat,” he said.

"[But] he’s fitted in really well. He’s a nice lad who plays good football. He’s a tough little fella.  He came as a back-up, a left-sided player. I guess it’s just competition with for that left-sided spot.

"We’ve also got Lachlan Jackson who can play on the left."