MATT Millar didn't cut Edgeworth to shreds but the exciting fullback showed enough for Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick to declare "he will be a wonderful signing" for the club.
The right back, who set the A-League alight for the Mariners last season, was the Jets' best in a clunky 1-0 win over the NNSW NPL premiers at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday - the A-League club's first competitive hit out of the pre-season.
The 22-year-old won every contest, motored up and down the touchline, put winger Nick Fitzgerald into space and wasn't afraid to take the defence on.
All that was missing was an end product.
But Merrick is confident that will come.
"I really like the fact he was having a go," Merrick said. "He was trying to take on two men at times. He was trying to do something to create an opportunity for someone. He was up and down. He is a wonderful signing."
The Jets had to work for everything against a young but well-organised Eagles outfit.
There was a degree of luck to Dimi Petratos decisive goal in the 23rd minute which came from a corner and snuck in at the near post.
Petratos had a couple of shots well saved by Josh Low, Steve Ugarkovic hit the crossbar and Kaine Shepherd had a headed goal pulled back for offiside, but overall clear-cut chances were minimal.
"They made it very difficult for us - very tight in their defensive third," Merrick said. "We didn't get many chances. I thought our defence was solid and our midfield were fine. Our attack in midfield and up front was poor. The speed of passing and rapid decision making is very important, but it was our first hit out.
"I was very happy with Matt Millar. The two centrebacks Ben Kantarovski and Lachy Jackson - filling in for Nigel and Nikolia - did well. Johnny Koutroumbis didn't come good until the second half. We were lacking on the left side.
"Matt Ridenton and Steve Ugarkovic were serviceable in defence but not going forward."
Merrick is confident of an improved showing in a friendly against Western Sydney Wanderers in Parklea on Wednesday, which will be a "dress rehearsal" for the round of 32 FFA Cup match against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on August 7.
"When you play A-League teams it is much more open, it is not a closed shop," Merrick said. "We have to be sharper, that is for sure. We will definitely use it as a dress rehearsal. We are building on this game. Sharpening up in the attacking third is what we will be working on Monday and Tuesday. See if we can put it together over three thirds against the Wanderers."
Captain Nigel Boogaard, keeper Glen Moss and new arrival Abdiel Arroyo sat out the Edgeworth friendly and Nikolai Topor-Stanley played only the final 20 minutes.
Arroyo is likely to play a minor role against Wanderers but Merrick said the veteran centrebacks would not be rushed.
"I will see how Nigel is developing," Merrick said. "With older players, I don't feel they have to get really fit 12 weeks out from the start of the season. It is tough for them to maintain it."