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Mar 9, 2009

Griffiths brothers set to clash in Asia

Newcastle defender Adam Griffiths is looking for bragging rights over his brothers as the Jets start their Asian Champions League campaign on Tuesday in China against Beijing Guoan.

Joel Griffiths, who is on loan to the Chinese side until December, will play his first competitive game for Beijing after participating in three trials.

Joel, who was the A-League player of the season and golden boot winner in Newcastle's triumphant 2007-08 campaign, has joined his other sibling Ryan at the Chinese club.

Adam could potentially line up on Joel in Tuesday's game.

"It's very amazing that there's three brothers playing on the one pitch, two for one team and one for the other," said Jets coach Gary Van Egmond.

"Their parents must be very proud.

"Adam is in very good physical condition, he's always been in good physical condition but in particular now.

"He's the biggest of the three brothers altogether and he's probably the mentally strongest of them, so he's looking for bragging rights after this game.

"He's very very up for this game, he's wanting to win this game, so he doesn't get a ribbing from his brothers."

A number of recent recruits could well make their debut in the Jets' ACL opener.

Several of the 10 players added to the squad which finished last in the recently completed A-League season are poised to play in Tuesday's clash.

The contingent of newcomers includes former Socceroo central defenders Angelo Costanzo and Ljubo Milicevic and Dutch forward Donny De Groot.

Van Egmond felt his team could draw inspiration from Adelaide's effort in reaching the final of last season's ACL.

"Our goal is to play as well as we can and hopefully that will be good enough to qualify for the next stage," Van Egmond said.

"For us it's a new experience, we've never been in this competition before and we're looking forward to it.

"We saw how well Adelaide did and they competed extremely well last year, so we take great heart from that, because we can compete very well with Adelaide and if Adelaide can do well, there's no reason why we can't.

"With that, it gives us a lot of confidence."

The Jets ACL group also includes Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight and Korean team Ulsan Hyundai.

"We feel that Beijing is going to be a big challenge for us, they have obviously recruited as well as what we have," Van Egmond said.

"We feel that obviously Grampus and Ulsan are going to be very very difficult as well, but we're concentrating 100 per cent on Beijing."

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