James Virgili says the backing of the Jets’ coaching staff inspired his scintillating performance in Saturday night’s F3 Derby.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets winger James Virgili says the backing of the Jets- coaching staff inspired his scintillating performance in Saturday night-s F3 Derby win over the Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium.
Virgili posed a constant threat to the Mariner-s defence with his probing runs down the right flank, one of which set up Emile Heskey to score the Jets- second goal of the match.
The 20-year-old Broadmeadow Magic product said advice from the Jets- coaching staff prior to the match had given him the confidence to back his own ability.
“The coaching staff are always telling me to be positive and take people on,” Virgili explained.
“I just thought the time was good for it, so I went for it and Emile was free so I just played it to him.”
Virgili-s performance earned the praise of Jets head coach Gary van Egmond.
“It was good to see him put in a performance like that. He-s another young Newcastle boy coming through and he-s going to derive a lot of confidence from that,” van Egmond said.
“He-s deriving a lot of confidence and a lot of benefit from the players around him as well.
“With Emile coming and the senior players that are here, they-re also feeling a lot more confident with James and that rubs off on each other. I-m really happy for James and he-s developing nicely.
“The message for a while has been to back himself, but also to make better decisions as well. He-s got wonderful speed and wonderful athleticism in regards to getting up and down the field.”
Heskey echoed van Egmond-s sentiments in a post-match interview with Fox Sports after Saturday-s win, saying that Virgili could be a ‘star in the making-.
“For Chilli to put that goal on a plate for me was brilliant,” Heskey said.
“All day he has tormented their left-back. That is what he is capable of doing. Hopefully he can do that on a consistent basis and we will have a star in the making.”
Having started the last two matches for the Jets, Virgili said he is hopeful of maintaining his spot in the squad and being a big contributor for the Jets in 2012/13.
“That was my second start and I want to carry that kind of form throughout the whole year,” he said.
“Hopefully I can keep getting the opportunity to start and keep creating and scoring goals.”
Virgili praised the determination and effort of his Jets teammates for being able to secure the victory despite a late barrage from the Central Coast.
“It was a great game by the boys,” he said.
“Derbies are always good to win and I think the boys showed great character throughout the whole game and held onto the win well."
The Jets have a short turnaround before they play the Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium on Friday night. Tickets for the match are available from PROticket.