Sporting gesture: Jets fans back off in the name of peace

Source: Newcastle Herald

THE Squadron, the vocal Newcastle Jets fan group, has made a sporting retreat to the other side of Hunter Stadium for tonight's clash with the Wanderers.

This follows the violence that marred the last match between the two sides at the ground.

Newcastle City duty officer Inspector Michael Gorman said Squadron members had volunteered to move from their usual home ground area in the southern corner of the Andrew Johns stand to the southern corner of the western grandstand, in a show of peace.

It means they will sit diagonally opposite the Wanderers fan club RBB, with about 4000 supporters expected to take up parts of the northern end of the Andrew Johns Stand.

Inspector Gorman said there would also be a tarpaulin placed over seats south of the RBB, giving a buffer to the rest of the supporters who wish to sit in the eastern concourse.

Violence erupted at the last Jets-Wanderers game at Broadmeadow in December when some Wanderers fans and Jets fans mingled at the end of the game.

Two Jets fans were later accused of attacking police, although both have pleaded not guilty to the charges in court.

"We can confirm there will be an increased police presence at the game," Inspector Gorman said.

It was about fans being able to enjoy the game and support their team in an environment with no threats of violence, he said.

"Be as vocal as you want, but behave yourselves. There have been steps put in place to minimise the interaction of the two club's fans and we warn them there will be a zero tolerance to any antisocial or criminal behaviour."

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