Van Egmond likely to use Burns against Wellington

Gary van Egmond says new signing Nathan Burns is likely to feature in the Jets’ pre-season trial match against Wellington Phoenix.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says new signing Nathan Burns is likely to feature in the Jets- pre-season trial match against Wellington Phoenix at Rockwell Automation Park in Weston.

Burns began training with his new Jets teammates at Ray Watt Oval on Monday morning and van Egmond said he was pleased with what he saw.

“Obviously he-ll take a little bit of time to adjust. His actual fitness is good, but his match fitness needs to improve, so we need to get some games into him,” van Egmond explained.

“He won-t go to Canberra, but hopefully we-ll see him against Wellington. We-ll look to give him about 45 minutes hopefully come Saturday and we-ll build him up from there.”

Van Egmond said he is confident Burns would give the Jets added attacking impetus in the front third.

“We just feel we-re going to get a lot of good running off the ball with Nathan,” van Egmond said.

“He-s one that can go past players and he scores goals. He can score goals from dribbling and with both feet in regards to his finishing, he can set people up and he can score one-touch finishes.

“There-s a lot going on in his game and he-s come back with a real point to prove, so from my point of view it is ideal.”

Van Egmond said the Jets were keen to explore the possibility of keeping Burns in Newcastle beyond the end of his current loan deal, which is scheduled to finish on January 11.

“It-s the old cliché of one match at a time and we-ll see how things are going by the time we get to January,” van Egmond said.

“A week is a long time in football and we-ve got a number of months before we come to that stage.

“We-ll see how things transpire until then and then go from there.

“If it all works out, then fantastic, if not, then we-ve had the benefit of having someone like Nathan in that first part of the season.

“From my point of view I-d like to keep him as long as possible, but sometimes that isn-t what can occur so we-ll just have to make sure we get the main benefit out of him right from the beginning.”

Prior to Saturday-s match against Wellington, the Jets will take on the Canberra NPL All Stars at McKellar Park in the nation-s capital.

Van Egmond indicated the Jets will not take a full strength squad down to Canberra, with a handful of players being saved for the clash with the Phoenix.

“We-ll take a number of players down to Canberra, albeit the mainstay of the group will only play 45 minutes,” van Egmond said.

“Tuesday we-ll go down, stay the night, Wednesday play the game, have recovery down there and Thursday come back.”

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix Rockwell Automation Park, Weston Saturday, August 24th Kick-off 4.30pm