The Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets have joined forces to breathe new life into the F3 Derby over the next two seasons.
Under the agreement full-season ticketed members of both clubs will be able to attend the derby away matches free of charge for the next two seasons.
The popularity of the F3 fixture has waned in recent years as both clubs struggled on the field and the Sydney and Melbourne derbies continued to grab headlines.
The high water mark came in the 2008 Grand Final when 36,354 fans watched the Hunter outfit defeat the Mariners.
Central Coast’s CEO Shaun Mielekamp hopes the new deal can help make the clash a marquee fixture once again.
“The clubs are committed to restoring the F3 Derbies as the most anticipated clashes of the season,” Mielekamp told a-league.com.au
“This initiative will boost attendance and reinvigorate the passionate rivalry which exists between the Mariners and the Jets.”
Interim Newcastle Jets CEO David Eland said the deal should help to revive some of the passion and competitiveness of the early clashes.
“This initiative adds significant value to the clubs’ membership packages,” Eland said.
“I’m sure the opportunity to attend the Away F3 Derbies free of charge will be well received by the members of both clubs.”
The Jets had the better of their local rivals in the most recent campaign, recording two victories in the final third of the season – both in Gosford – with the two teams played out a thrilling 1-1 draw at Hunter Stadium in Round six.comments