Van Egmond hails excellent Heskey

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond described Emile Heskey's Hyundai A-League debut as "excellent", despite losing 2-0 in their season opener against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond described Emile Heskey's Hyundai A-League debut as "excellent", despite losing 2-0 in their season opener against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Jets coach planned to only give the former England international half a game in his first-up performance but such is Heskey's determination, he competed for 70 minutes before being replaced midway through the second half.

The big No.9 showed glimpses of what he can offer with some bustling runs and strength in the box. But as the Jets boss indicated, Heskey will need more support from his teammates to allow him to give his best on the park this season.

"I thought his contribution was great," van Egmond said of Heskey's performance.

"He is a real target man upfront. You see a number of times where someone looks to play the ball in, and look to run off him - and we will have to get better at that.

"We need to know the position we are supposed to be in with the ball going into him and the person getting the ball back as well as the third man running and the next person making a run into space as well.

"But overall I thought his contribution was excellent."

"I was looking at half a game with him to be honest but he has such a will to play and compete and try to contribute," added van Egmond.

"Emile is wanting to stay out there for 95 minutes but we have to be careful with him and we probably went over where we wanted with him, but he will have a good recovery and massage get back on the training paddock."