Saturday, September 30, 2006

 

Glad I’m Not a Kennedy

Spare a thought for Ben Kennedy.

In the wake of the chaotic recent history of the Newcastle Jets, he now finds himself the sole goalkeeper at the club. That’s right, a 19-year-old with no prior experience at the top level, plucked from the obscure Broadmeadow club, is the only choice for Nick Theodorakopoulos in goal.

And he’s been a busy boy. Newcastle’s defending has been comically bad at times this season, with Paul Okon clearly not yet fully settled and Andrew Durante yet to gain full match sharpness after an extended injury layoff.

In last night’s match against Perth, Kennedy deserved particular sympathy.

Not only did the Jets sport a flimsy midfield and a suspect defence thanks to their various absences, but Kennedy received a nasty knee in the face early in the piece, courtesy of Jamie Coyne. In fairness to Coyne, it did not appear intentional.

Ordinarily, it was the sort of collision that might have resulted in a substitution. But there was no question of Kennedy being replaced; he had to soldier on.

Although Perth ran out 3-0 winners, Kennedy didn’t do all that badly, in truth. He held on to a couple of low shots quite capably, and his positioning at crosses was fairly good. Corners were another matter; he noticeably failed to take command in his area, and Jamie Harnwell took full advantage in scoring Perth’s second goal.

And Kennedy’s inexperience has been plain to see at times this season, not least when his half-hearted trot off his line allowed David Zdrilic to nod a looping header past him at Aussie Stadium.

Theodorakopoulos has been attempting to sign Ivan Necevski, Blacktown City’s keeper; having seen Necevski in action a few times this year, I don’t feel that he will provide the level of reliability between the sticks that Newcastle requires. But it would, of course, lessen the load on the overworked local boy.

Perhaps we could arrange a swap: the New Zealand Knights could exchange one of their three keepers for a desperately needed striker: how about Tolgay Ozbey, whose reward for his splendid form in the state league has been splinters from the Newcastle bench?


Comments:
Yes, why not a trade for Milosevic? I guess the salaries of both players involved in the trade would have to be fairly similar though, meaning someone more like Coveny would have to be given up -- and I assume he won't budge, given his refusal to join the Knights earlier this year.

Nice in theory, though!
 
I agree on your Tolgay Ozbey thoughts. He should have had a penalty but he played on instead of diving...
 
...Yes, why not a trade for Milosevic? I guess the salaries of both players involved in the trade would have to be fairly similar though, meaning someone more like Coveny would have to be given up -- and I assume he won't budge, given his refusal to join the Knights earlier this year.

Nice in theory, though!...

I was joking, but I'm sure both clubs wouldn't be too unhappy with such an arrangement at the moment!

...I agree on your Tolgay Ozbey thoughts. He should have had a penalty but he played on instead of diving...

Yeah, I saw that too. Credit to him for trying to score from open play, although a European player would probably have gone down... ;-)
 
I thought they were trying to sign Jess van Stratten, but FFA won't let them until they've paid out the contract of some South American who lied to them about his experience...?
 
...I thought they were trying to sign Jess van Stratten, but FFA won't let them until they've paid out the contract of some South American who lied to them about his experience?...

Yeah, I've heard something like that. Recently Nick Theo has been talking about Necevski though.
 
While you were joking about the player swap Mikey, maybe it's something the FFA should allow. Perhaps we need to have loan system similar to Europe. Or do we already?
 
...While you were joking about the player swap Mikey, maybe it's something the FFA should allow. Perhaps we need to have loan system similar to Europe. Or do we already?...

I don't think so. I imagine it would create too many difficulties with the salary cap issue (as James alludes to above) to be practicable in most cases.
 
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