JOEL Griffiths, the Jets greatest goalscorer, has the same advice for makeshift striker Joe Champness as he offered Andrew Nabbout – be yourself.
Champness made the switch from the left wing to the point of the attack in the absence of Roy O’Donovan (suspended) and Andrew Nabbout (Japan) in the 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
The rookie, who has been arguably the find of the season, worked hard but was only able to manufacture one shot on goal on what was a difficult night for Jets attackers.
And with O’Donovan to miss the trip to Adelaide on Friday, Champness or fellow L-plater Angus Thurgate is likely to lead the line again.
“I thought Joey did a good job but it takes time,” said Jets football operations manager Griffiths, who won the A-League golden boot in 2008 and scored 34 goals in 83 games for the club. “We don’t want Joey to try and be Roy O’Donovan, be yourself. I said the same thing to Andrew Nabbout earlier in the season. When he was put up front initially he said to me ‘I have no idea what I am doing’.”
Griffiths said watching DVDs of in-form strikers around the world was a good way to learn about positioning and the type of runs to make.
“It is a totally different position,” Griffiths said. “You need to time your runs and constantly be in the box. You are there to score goals if you are a nine. If Joey plays there again, I’m sure he will learn from the Wellington game, and I’m sure Ernie will give him feedback on what he can do better. It is a good opportunity for him to broaden his playing style.”
The Jets will also be without Dimi Petratos, who is in Oslo with the Socceroos ahead of friendlies against Norway and Colombia, for the clash against the Reds.
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