Gary van Egmond says his first impressions after seeing marquee signing Emile Heskey in the flesh were extremely positive.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says his first impressions after seeing marquee signing Emile Heskey in the flesh were extremely positive.
Heskey met his Jets teammates and the Club-s coaching staff for the first time at Hunter Stadium on Friday afternoon and head coach Gary van Egmond said he liked what he saw.
“Most impressive. If you look at his physique and then you talk to him, he-s a very humble guy,” van Egmond said.
“There-s no frills. He-s just looking forward to getting out and training with the boys and doing as well as he can for the Newcastle Jets this year.
“In regards to how he looks, he doesn-t look like he-s carrying any excess weight or anything like that.
“Our challenge will be to make sure we don-t push him too hard, too early and make sure we get the best out of him.”
Van Egmond said Heskey would be closely monitored throughout the next week in order to give him the best possible chance of playing in the Jets- Round 1 match against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, October 7.
“We-ll know more as we go along. We just had a quick chat about what the training schedule looks like,” van Egmond said.
“It-s important that we-re catering for everyone. We-ll look at how we use Emile in those training sessions within the week leading up to the Adelaide game.
“There will be days he needs to train, days he needs to have off and have massages and we-ll be doing everything that we need to do to ensure he has the best opportunity to partake in the Adelaide game.”
Van Egmond said the signing of Heskey was a massiv coup, not only for the Jets, but the entire Newcastle football community. He urged football fans in the Hunter region to get behind the Club by becoming Members.
“I think all and sundry in regards to the Club and the football community in Newcastle should be over the moon,” he said.
“It-s not everyday you get a player of this ilk that comes to our shores and plays for our Club.
“The Members and supporters are going to be able to see him in the flesh 12 or 13 games this year, so from that point of view, the fans are very, very fortunate.”
Van Egmond said that everyone at the Club will be able to learn from what Heskey brings to the table.
“The younger players will be able to draw from the experience Emile has and develop as well. Not only the younger players, but even the coaching staff and the whole Club,” he said.
“From a holistic view, what Emile brings to the Club is invaluable.”
Heskey's first training session for Members and supporters to attend will be on Tuesday afternoon at Ray Watt Oval. The session will commence at approximately 4.30pm. The Jets also train on Wednesday morning, and Members and fans can attend that session at Ray Watt Oval also, from 10am.
Heskey merchandise is available both ONLINE and at the Hunter Sports Superstore at 294 Turton Road, New Lambton. Stock has not sold out.