Merrick knows what he wants to boost Jets' strike force

Newcastle Jets’ hunt for a striker is intensifying with 'three or four on the radar' as the Hyundai A-League season draws nearer.

With Joe Champness and Roy O’Donovan sidelined for the start of the new campaign through injury and suspension, the Jets could use a boost to their attacking arsenal.

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They could be about to receive one from an unlikely source in Avondale FFA Cup hero Kaine Sheppard. The Newcastle Herald are reporting Sheppard has been trialling at the Jets since Monday alongside Bentleigh Greens’ gloveman Ryan Scott.

The English-born front man has scored 14 goals in 20 NPL Victoria matches for Avondale and notched opening goals in the club’s 4-1 victories over Marconi Stallions and Devonport City in the Round of 32 and Round of 16 respectively.


The Jets have also reportedly been monitoring Brazilian striker Jair Eduardo Britto da Silva among “three or four” other strikers on the radar, as confirmed by Jets football operations manager Joel Griffiths.

“We need an experienced high striker who can play centrally or wide so who can fit in when Roy comes in,” Merrick told the Newcastle Herald yesterday.

“On top of that, a secondary player, probably a wide player would suit us, but they could play central, who is a dynamic player. They are in demand everywhere. We will continue to chase the right person with the right profile at the right price.”

“We are in a fortunate position in that we have retained most of the squad and the players pretty well know how we play,” Merrick said.

“We know the type of player we are looking for and we are not in a rush because we want to get the right person. With seven weeks to go, we have plenty of time.”

Joe Champness