Jet Top Gun Was Almost A Mariner
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JAMES Holland may be the new hero of Newcastle Jets but a colleague has revealed how close the youngster was to joining the old enemy along the F3.
The striker took just 16 minutes to announce his arrival on the Hyundai A-League stage at the weekend as he thrashed a shot into the Wellington Phoenix net.
It was the best possible way to send out a powerful message to Gary Van Egmond as the youngster looks to force his way into the professional ranks.
Not that his performance surprised one member of the Jets team - and former Mariners skipper turned Newcastle new boy Noel Spencer sees a bright future for the player.
He knows from past experience the qualities that Holland has in his locker and he is confident the player will only get better.
Spencer, who has had to be patient before forcing his way into Van Egmond’s starting eleven, said: “I knew a bit about James before he came in here because he had trained with us for a spell at the Central Coast Mariners last year.
"He is a very talented player and I think he can go on to do well. He certainly grabbed the bull by the horns on his debut, that’s for sure.”
Holland wasn’t the only one satisfied with another Jets victory with Spencer hoping his own performance was enough to earn his spot for another week.
Regular action has not been forthcoming since the player’s switch from the Mariners and he admits to a degree of frustration.
He said: “It has been pretty tough over the last six or seven weeks but you just have to keep working hard, be professional and then seize your opportunity when it comes along.
"I’m hoping that game is the one that really starts my season. When the season is only 21 matches, you don’t want to be missing out on too many.”
As a former Mariner, Spencer is delighted with the welcome he has received from the Jets supporters.
He said: “As I came off against Wellington I thought there was a good acknowledgement from them. They haven’t seen too much of me as yet but hopefully my performances will keep them onside.”
Spencer and company entertain Queensland Roar this weekend with the Jets looking to extend an impressive home record. They are yet to lose at EnergyAustralia Stadium this year.
Spencer said: “That’s one of the things the players and the coach want to build on, to really make this place a fortress.
"We will have to be at our best to take on Queensland. I think Danny Tiatto has been massive for them so I’m not complaining that he’s going to be suspended.”