In-form attacker Jason Hoffman says he’s looking forward to returning to his former surrounds at Ausgrid Stadium to take on the Newcastle Jets this Saturday.
In-form attacker Jason Hoffman says he-s looking forward to returning to his former surrounds at Ausgrid Stadium to take on the Newcastle Jets this Saturday.
Making his debut with the Jets in 2007, Hoffman enjoyed a stellar spell in the Hunter Valley, featuring in the Asian Champions League and as part of the Club-s Hyundai A-League Championship side.
And after a strong off-season, where Hoffman emerged as one of the Club-s leading performers, finding the back of the net with regularity, the youth international is in firm contention to feature in the starting eleven against his old side.
“It-s always good to head back to Newcastle, whether it-s for football or to see the family. Everyone wants to get a good start, and against my old club, I-d love to get the three points and set up the season well,” he said.
As arguably the revelation of pre-season, Hoffman-s rise has prompted speculation the 22-year-old could emerge as a breakout star this campaign.
Hoffman says the secret to his recent form has been a newfound ability to remain composed, refusing to allow himself to be overwhelmed by pressure and expectation.
“I think I-ve learned to relax a bit more. Last season I was very uptight, and put pressure on myself to do well,” he said.
“When the chances came I was nervous and wanted to do well, whereas this season I-m relaxed, and obviously I-ve had a fair bit of match time in the pre-season as well with the Australian U/23s.”
His stint with Aurelio Vidmar-s outfit instilled a confidence which Hoffman has so far managed to translate to the Red and White, placing the Novacastrian firmly in Head Coach John van ‘t Schip-s first team calculations.
But Hoffman admits producing during the Hyundai A-League season itself is when it truly matters.
“Doing well there, the confidence kept growing and growing, then returning to Melbourne Heart, the goals kept on going in,” he said.
“Now it-s a different feeling when I play matches, it-s almost like I expect myself to be at a certain level rather than hope I-m there. But most importantly, Saturday, the season starts and this is where it all counts.”