Wheelhouse the real deal

The Newcastle Jets believe midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse is finally living up to expectations with his recent good form for the club culminating in a potential 'goal of the year' in last weekend's scintillating 3-2 win over the Gold Coast.

The Newcastle Jets believe midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse is finally living up to expectations with his recent good form for the club culminating in a potential 'goal of the year' in last weekend's scintillating 3-2 win over the Gold Coast.

The 24-year-old Novocastrian has long shown plenty of promise after a glittering junior career in the Newcastle region saw him represent Australia at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championships.

However, a spate of injuries since 2006 has limited his time on the park and stymied his impact in the Hyundai A-League. A nasty leg injury sustained in a trial match against State League team Bankstown just a week before the start of the current campaign threatened to continue that trend.

But Weelhouse has worked hard off the paddock and then in the National Youth League to force his way back into Newcastle's starting team this season. He has revitalised his career under current coach Branko Culina, who believes Wheelhouse to be a pivotal figure for the Jets this season.

"When I arrived at this club people told me he was a good bench player and that was his standard," Culina said of Wheelhouse.

"But as I got to know him more the more I saw there was a player capable of much more than that. He is a good athlete, he is comfortable on the ball, he can win possession and he gets heaps of yellow cards."

"He has everything a top footballer has but he just wasn't getting a game. So we had a chat about where he wanted to be and I suppose he has answered in the best possible way."

"There is no doubt Jobe has contributed enormously over the last few weeks to where we are at right now."

Wheelhouse has shown good form in his last few starts and played a starring role in Sunday's win over the Gold Coast most notably for a stunning goal from a 25-yard volley that United coach Miron Bleiberg likened to a strike typical of Argentina legend Maradona.

"The moment you see, what's his name, Wheelhouse, scoring a goal like Maradona then you know it is not going to be your day," Bleiberg said after the match.

Culina was equally effusive about the midfielder's super strike.

"He (Wheelhouse) was absolutely fabulous and if that isn't the goal of the year then the (host broadcaster) Fox people don't know what they are doing."

A modest Wheelhouse said it was a lucky shot.

"It was just one of those ones where you close your eyes and it hits the right spot … we do plenty of practice on those at training," Wheelhouse said.

"But it just one of those ones where you can't hit it any better and luckily it goes in. I have probably not hit any better than that on target."