New signing Lachlan Jackson had his first training session with the Jets on Monday and while he is still settling into his new team the 20-year-old had a familiar face to talk to in midfielder Mitch Cooper.
Cooper and Jackson are both Queensland Academy of Sports (QAS) graduates and good mates off the pitch.
Today, Cooper said he couldn’t wait dish up the dirt on what the centre back is like on and off the field.
“He’s a great signing for the Jets,” Cooper said. “I’ve known him for fair while now and I’ve been watching him over the last few years and he’s matured a lot as a centre back.”
“He shows a lot of composure on the field, particularly as a young player and that’s great for the Jets.
“We’ve got the likes of Nigel Boogaard and Daniel Mullen for him to look up to here and he’s going to offer a lot of stability and depth to our backline.”
The midfielder spoke to Jackson before he made the move to Newcastle and said he was surprised to find out that the former Brisbane Roar Youth player didn’t have a first team contract in the Sunshine State.
“I was speaking to him about what was happening at the Roar and he said he didn’t have a first team contract and I really thought he’d proven himself enough to secure a spot in the senior squad,” Cooper added.
“Full time opportunities are really important for young players to get in and train with the first team and learn from some of the older more experienced boys.
“I know Lachy pretty well as we grew up together on the Sunshine Coast and he’s definitely going to relish the opportunity [with Newcastle].”
Jackson scored his first Hyundai A-League goal against the Jets in just his third A-League appearance last season and Cooper reckons he now owes Newcastle a few goals.
“Last season against the Roar was actually the first time we’ve played against each other and I was really pleased to see him get on the park,” Cooper said.
“When he scored last year and raised his hands in the air and I was kind of happy to see my friend get a goal but it was also a devastating blow for us.
“I’ll be pushing for him to make up for that now and if he doesn’t score one for us I’ll be on his back.”
While Cooper says that the tall left sided centre-back has enough talent to play a big part of the Jets into the future on the field, Cooper said Jackson also has great skills off the pitch.
“I spent a few years around him at QAS and he really came out of his shell there as he used to be one of those big tall shy boys that wouldn’t say much, but as soon as you get the R&B cranking he starts dancing,” Cooper revealed.
“LJ reckons he’s got a bit of rhythm and when he was in Brisbane whenever the boys got to have a night out he was always the MVP.
“He‘s pretty big and lanky and has his own style which is great to watch. I wouldn’t mind seeing him and some of the other big boys in the club have a dance off.
“Josh Barresi a big tall boy and he can definitely move so it might be good to see them have a bit of a battle.”