NEWCASTLE Jets are coming to town next week, but whether they return will be judged purely on numbers.
As a result, Football Mid North Coast general manager Bruce Potter has issued a call to arms for the Mid North Coast football community.
Potter urged fans from across the region – from Forster in the south to Kempsey in the north and out to Wauchope – to show their support and attend Regional Stadium on Tuesday night.
He wants them to vote with their feet.
“Football Mid North Coast has been working extremely hard with the Newcastle Jets to make this event happen, now it is up to our football community to back it,” Potter said.
“We simply need bums on seats.”
The Jets continued their season preparations with an FFA Cup round-of-32 loss in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Their Mid North Coast tour will include school visits to Taree on Monday before Laurieton, Wauchope and Port Macquarie get their taste on Tuesday afternoon.
Potter said the response from those in the southern part of the region had been strong and showed interest.
Football Mid North Coast has been working extremely hard with the Newcastle Jets to make this event happen, now it is up to our football community to back it.Football Mid North Coast general manager Bruce Potter
“The Jets school clinic in Taree on Monday for 245 kids sold out in less than 24 hours,” he said.
“They ended up oversubscribing because the Jets were going to close at 200, but were overwhelmed by the support.
“In comparison, their clinics in Singleton and Tamworth are still open.”
Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna has indicated he wants the club to expand its support base outside of Newcastle.
They have competition south of the area through Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers.
But when you head north, there is untapped potential with Brisbane Roar being the closest A-League team.
“We are their heartland because once you get past Coffs Harbour you get into Brisbane Roar territory,” Potter said.
“There is a degree of support from the Mid North Coast from Forster-Tuncurry all the way up to Kempsey because we know there is a strong contingent from each of those areas making the trip on Tuesday.”
Potter emphasised the importance of a strong showing.
We are their heartland because once you get past Coffs Harbour you get into Brisbane Roar territory.Bruce Potter
“Lawrie McKinna has said the Jets will have no problems bringing a home FFA Cup match to Port Macquarie if we can show there is enough support here,” he said.
“We have hundreds, if not thousands, of people who travel to Newcastle to watch the Jets play every second weekend.
“Now is a perfect chance to see them in our own backyard.”
For those attending the game, the Jets will have a "JetsTour17” Snapchat filter in effect.
The match kicks off at 7pm. Tickets are $5.