Stubbins backing Barresi to bounce back

Newcastle Jets head coach Phil Stubbins is backing midfielder Josh Barresi to bounce back stronger than ever after the 19-year-old tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in is right knee against Juventus last Wednesday.

Stubbins said Barresi would be able to lean on his Jets teammates for support as he started the road to recovery.

“Josh is a wonderful character and a lovely kid that has embraced Newcastle, but unfortunately for him he has sustained an ACL injury,” Stubbins said.

“We’ve had a few players at the Club who’ve been through this injury, the likes of Scott Neville and Mitch Cooper recently.

“He’s living with Scott Neville, so there’s not a better person that Josh could be with in terms of someone to provide positive feedback to him.

“It’s life and I’m sure the boy will show his character and come back larger than what he left off and we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.”

Stubbins said the timing of Barresi’s injury was particularly unfortunate, with the former Western Sydney Wanderers player acquitting himself well in training in recent weeks.

“Josh is a young kid that has come over to Newcastle to try and establish himself in the A-League,” Stubbins said.

“He was doing very well and ticking the boxes going forward, but where that would’ve lead to is not something we’re going to know now.

“We’re going to have to wait and see that he gets back from the rehab and do everything we can in terms of medical and emotional support to get the boy right.”

Stubbins said that despite the injury setback to Barresi, the behind-closed-doors friendly match against Juventus had been a fruitful venture for the Jets.

“I think it was a terrific exercise for the Club and for the boys to have an opportunity to play against a top class outfit and a get a view of an elite football Club in play,” Stubbins explained.

“To play against them and acquit themselves very well was big tonic for everyone and at the end of the day it was a very positive experience.”

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