After taking out the wooden spoon last term, Newcastle’s remarkable A-League season have the Jets fighting for honours on the opposite spectrum with a home Grand Final against Victory.
The Jets have been without finals football for eight seasons but under Ernie Merrick and inspired by star recruits such as Dimi Petratos, Newcastle finished the regular home and away season in second place.
Saturday’s Grand Final will the Novacastrian’s first appearance in the big dance since they won the Championship in 2007-08 and ahead the 2017-18 title decider Petratos revealed the Jets are full of confidence.
“We have to go into the game thinking our chances are very high and be very positive,” Petratos said speaking to FourFourTwo.
“Of course, they’ll (Melbourne Victory) be thinking the same thing, otherwise there’s no point in going into the game.
“But we’re just going to stick to what we know and stay focused and obviously try and get the win.”
Petratos’ stunning A-League campaign saw him achieve double figures in both goals (10) and assists (11) and in the voting for the Johnny Warren Medal, he finished second behind Sydney FC’s Adrian Mierzejewski.
After Saturday night's match Petratos said he wants to look back on the Grand Final knowing he gave his all for the Jets cause.
“I will go out and do what the game needs and I will play my heart out,” he said.
“Of course, I hope we get the win. Looking back we’ve had a great season from where we were to where we are so I’m just going to take it all in.
“It will be great if we can take the title, just to top off the whole season that we’ve had.
“Not only for us but for the fans – to give the town something amazing and to win a home Grand Final would just be unreal.”
While Petratos has previous Grand Final experience after winning the 2013-14 Championship with Brisbane Roar, the majority of his Newcastle teammates don't.
But the 25-year-old hopes to pass on the benefit of his big-match involvement to the younger Jets.
“The time that I won it I was a young player myself,” he said. “I had mentors like Thomas Broich, Matt McKay and Besart Berisha was also there at the time.
“Going into it now, I feel a little bit more experienced. We have great leaders here like Nikolai Toper-Stanley, Nigel Boogaard and Daniel Georgievski who has also won a Grand Final.
“I want to play my part and just do what the game needs.”