JUST when the Newcastle Jets thought they were back to full strength, veteran goalkeeper Glen Moss will be sidelined for the immediate future after suffering a freak injury in Sunday night’s 2-1 loss to Adelaide at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Moss received a nasty gash when he caught a stray stud – possibly from the boot of skipper Nigel Boogaard – just before half-time.
The 35-year-old New Zealand international was replaced for the second half by off-season signing Lewis Italiano, making his debut appearance for Newcastle.
Italiano, who played in 19 A-League games for Perth and Wellington before joining the Jets, will again deputise in Wednesday’s home clash with Brisbane Roar, with rookie Noah James the new reserve gloveman.
“Glen Moss had a sort of collision in the box,” Jets coach Ernie Merrick said.
“We’re not sure whose studs hit him, but he’s got a bad gash in his quadriceps. It’s like eight centimetres long, and it’s pretty deep.
He’s got a bad gash in his quadriceps. It's like eight centimetres long, and it’s pretty deep.- ERNIE MERRICK
“He’s got 12 stitches in it, and he’ll be out for a couple of weeks.”
The injury is unfortunate timing for Moss, who is off contract at season’s end and hoping to secure a new deal.
That appears likely to happen given Moss has already held informal talks with Newcastle officials about staying, and his form this season has been generally solid.
With 225 A-League games to his name – including 21 for Newcastle – Moss is one of the most experienced keepers in A-League history.
Italiano found himself in an unfortunate situation when skipper Nigel Boogaard conceded a penalty in the 90th minute, with the scoreline one goal apiece.
Craig Goodwin placed his shot wide to the left, beating Italiano to score the match-winner.
Italiano was an 11th-hour signing in September as replacement for Jack Duncan, who was released by Newcastle to accept a lucrative deal in Saudi Arabia.
James, 17, is an Australian under-age representative whose name first featured in headlines two years ago when he travelled with the Jets to Wellington as back-up for Duncan.
Had he taken the field in that game, he would have become the A-League’s youngest-ever debutant, at 15.
“Young Noah James has been training with us on a regular basis and doing a great job,” Merrick said.
“He’s playing in the National Youth League and doing very well. We don’t need to sign [anyone else].”
Merrick said Newcastle’s main concern was at the other end of the pitch.
“We can only sort it ourselves,” Merrick said.
“And it’s all about up front. I don’t think we’re conceding much at all. It’s up front, scoring goals.”
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