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Newcastle Jets pray to win A-League Grand Final

Winger Joe Champness and chaplain Aran Tidey on important match preparation

Usually players and staff of a sporting franchise are embarrassed to tell the world that they do in fact ‘pray to win’. Instead, they usually prefer to tell anyone who asks that their good results come from hard work and tactics.

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But not the Newcastle Jets, the A-League side on the brink of one of the most remarkable stories in Australian sports history.

“Faith covers every part of life.” – Joe Champness

The Jets finished bottom of the A-League table last year. Incredibly, this Saturday night they are playing in the Grand Final against the formidable Melbourne Victory – in front of their home crowd in Newcastle.

If the Jets do win, they will be the first team within Australia’s four football codes (Super Rugby, AFL, NRL, A-League) – in the era of professional sport – to go from wooden spooners to champions in a single season.

According to Jets winger Joe Champness and chaplain of the team, Aran Tidey, prayer has been a contributing factor to their improved performance.

“Faith covers every part of life. There are trials and tribulations [on and off the pitch] but that relationship with God puts things into perspective – you can really regain focus,” said 21-year-old Champness who was nominated for A-League Young Player of the Year.

“My relationship with the Lord, it’s something that’s real, something that’s tangible. If you take a step back and look at the blessings that God has given you, it helps a lot.”

Aran Tidey leads some of the players in prayer before matches and he told Eternity that even if the Jets end up losing a match – or the Grand Final – it’s still important to pray for a win.

“I feel like for them [the players], that prayer causes a rise of belief for them. To know ‘hey yeah, we’re going to win today.’ And whether that’s the ultimate outcome or not, that’s for God to sort out – but I’ll definitely pray that they win, because I believe that God wants us to ask.”

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