Midfielder set for 45 minute run out this weekend
Nathan Burns is being pencilled in to make his Newcastle Jets debut in Saturday’s friendly with A-League rivals Wellington Phoenix.
The 25-year-old midfielder arrived at the Hunter Stadium ahead of schedule on Monday following his loan move from South Korean club Incheon United and has spent the past two days building a rapport with his new team-mates on the training pitch.
Jets manager Gary van Egmond refrained from throwing Burns in at the deep end against Canberra NPL All Stars on Wednesday, but looks set to reward his application with a 45 minute cameo against Phoenix.
“Obviously he’ll (Burns) take a little bit of time to adjust,” he told Sportal on Tuesday. “His actual fitness is good but his match fitness needs to improve, so we need to get some games into him.
“He won’t go to Canberra, but hopefully we’ll see him against Wellington.
“He’ll get 45 minutes hopefully come Saturday and we’ll build him up from there.”
van Egmond is excited at the options Burns will bring to his squad, given that he can operate in a number of attacking roles, and believes he will go some way to replacing Ryan Griffiths.
“We just feel we’re going to get a lot of good running off the ball with Nathan,” the Sydney-born coach added. “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.”