WES Hoolahan has trained only twice with the Newcastle Jets but his new teammates are already starting to "pick the brain" of the former Premier League star.
The 37-year-old Norwich City legend was all class in a ball-work session on Monday.
His movement was sharp, passing crisp. Most impressive was the midfielder's ability to link with players, switch the point of attack and find pockets of space.
"I knew he would be good but he is above and beyond my expectations," coach Ernie Merrick said. "His passing, movement, ability on the ball ... he has already started talking to young Angus Thurgate about his positioning off the ball. He is very good."
Hoolahan has played 30-plus games a season in either the Premier League or Championship in four of the past five years and had been training with lower league side Cambridge United before travelling to Newcastle.
Merrick said he was a strong chance to be involved in the Jets' friendly against Hamilton Olympic at Darling St Oval on Thursday. If not, definitely against Edgeworth in the FFA Cup round of 16 battle at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Wednesday week.
"He is very fit," Jets midfielder Steve Ugarkovic said. "His movement off the ball and his body movement on the ball. The way he sells players with his shoulders ... having that option in front of me, he looks sharp. He has come here to do very well.
"He is definitely someone I can learn from. He is a great mind to have on the field and in the change room.
"I will pick his brain and see what I can do and changes I can make to my game."
Hoolahan has played the majority of his career as a No.10. With Ronny Vargas departing, Socceroo Dimi Petratos was set to assume that role. Who plays where and how they combine remains to be seem.
However, they did appear to form an instant chemistry on the training pitch on Monday.
"It is still only early," Ugarkovic said. "I think Wes is the sort of player who can gel in any team. He is someone who is going to bring others players into the game, which is exciting."
Ugarkovic produced a herculean effort in the Jets' thrilling 3-2 extra-time triumph over Melbourne Victory in the FFA Cup last week.
The midfielder set a new club record, covering 17.5 kilometres during the game at an average of 130 metres per minute.
"I have always prided myself on doing the dirty work," the 24-year-old said. "It was a big output from all the boys. We all worked hard. It was good to see that effort and to win was even better."
The Jets are expecting a different type of game against Edgeworth, who defended stoutly and caused the A-League outfit problems in a friendly last month.
"We will show them as much respect as an A-League team," Ugarkovic said.
"They are a good side, have good players and are doing well in their season. It will be a different game to Victory. That is the way football is. We will stick to the way we play. It will be a good experience, good for the region to be playing a game out there. I'm definitely looking forward to it."