JETS veteran Jason Hoffman has described his 15th A-League pre-season as the toughest of his career - and he is loving every minute of it. At the age of 32, and with 242 A-League games under his belt, Hoffman has been relishing the intensity of training sessions under Newcastle's new head coach, Arthur Pappas, and his high-performance staff. "I think this pre-season has been the most challenging, physically and mentally, by far," Hoffman told the Newcastle Herald. "The program that Arthur and the coaching staff have put on is challenging us each and every day. "It's making us stronger as individuals and as a group. "We know we have to be prepared to push the limit in every session. The coaching staff have very high ambitions and the players have all bought into that. "And the thinking behind that is that we want to achieve things. We want to be champions, and we're not nervous about making that statement." Hoffman farewelled a host of long-serving teammates at the end of last season, headed by Nigel Boogaard, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Roy O'Donovan, Johnny Koutroumbis and Matt Millar. Their replacements have come from far and wide but Hoffman, who along with Ben Kantarovski ensures the club has retained some longstanding home-grown content, says the new faces have brought fresh energy with them. "I've always been someone who looks forward to day one of pre-season," he said. "I enjoy my family time and the break, but I'm always excited to go back to work. "Obviously this year there have been a lot of changes, but that's part and parcel of football. Players move on and part company with clubs, and they get replaced by other individuals. "The club has recruited some really good people, both players and staff. "It makes it enjoyable and, to be honest, I've loved every minute of it. I'm learning new things every day." Newcastle narrowly avoided the wooden spoon last season, finishing above only Melbourne Victory, but Hoffman knows how quickly fortunes can turn in the A-League. He was with the Jets when they went from 2007-08 champions to 2008-09 wooden spooners, and also when they climbed from the foot of ladder to the 2017-18 grand final in the space of 12 months. "With a few changes, you put the past behind you and move on very quickly, and you can be right up near the top of the ladder," he said. "We saw that when we made the [2017-18] grand final. Before that season, I seem to remember a lot of people wrote us off." Hoffman said the prospect of teams possibly having to relocate into hubs during the season would be "another challenge", especially for players with families. "But it is what is," he said. "I think our mentality has to be that we'll do whatever it takes."