Moss the perfect Grand Final fit for Newcastle Jets
Glen Moss' selfless team-first attitude could make him the final piece of the puzzle in Newcastle Jets' bid for Hyundai A-League 2018 Grand Final glory.
The 35-year-old ex-Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper has been thrust into the spotlight after regular number one Jack Duncan tore his quadriceps against Melbourne City last weekend and was ruled out of Saturday night's decider.
Duncan's misfortune has been his deputy's gain, with Moss set to don the gloves against former club Melbourne Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Jets boss Ernie Merrick is confident the 29-time New Zealand international will deliver, believing his leadership qualities are an ideal match for Australian football's biggest stage.
"He's buzzing. He's been almost like an assistant coach to Jack Duncan," Merrick said of Moss at the pre-match media conference.
"He's worked with [goalkeeping coach] Chris Bowling and helped Jack be at his best. Always supported him.
"He actually coaches the youth team goalkeepers, gives up extra time to do that.
"When he had to come in mid-season for several games he was outstanding, and he's ready to go.
"He admits he was a bit nervous coming in against City but he never put a foot wrong.
"Because he's experienced he's really good at organising at the back. He's got a really good voice on him. It's like Nigel [Boogaard], I've got several players like that.
"Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ben Kantarovski, Steve Ugarkovic, Roy O'Donovan, Dimi Petratos. They're on-field leaders. They all seem to help each other get up for it."
Suggestions have been made that Victory, who are chasing an unprecedented fourth championship, could benefit from greater familiarity with the Grand Final.
Merrick, however, is adamant his players are equipped to handle the occasion.
"The game tomorrow is no doubt about the mindset of the players," he said.
"I think we've been challenged all the way through the year and we just keep getting bettter.
"Having a Semi Final against Melbourne City was ideal for us because it was the only team we hadn't beaten. We beat them and we beat them well.
"I think we're ready for it and I think we've got enough players that have got the experience to know what Grand Finals are like."