HIGH-velocity wingback Matt Millar is "desperate to get home" and help kick-start the Jets' A-League campaign - now all he needs is a flight.
Millar has completed his loan deal with League One club Shrewsbury Town but the Government's COVID-influenced move last week to halve the number of international flights to Australia has left the 25-year-old stranded in England.
"I spoke to Matty this morning and he is just desperate to get home," Jets general manager Lawrie McKinna said. "We have been trying to get him a flight as has our travel agent. Shrewsbury Town have also been actively trying. His agent too. With the government reducing the number of people coming into the country it is very difficult. Everything just keeps changing."
Emirates have cancelled flights to Australia and a number of other airlines have taken similar action.
"The government is organising mercy flights to help get Australians home," McKinna said. "Matty is registered with them and we are working every way we can to get him back."
However, it could be weeks rather than days before a flight is available.
that Millar, after an early setback with a hamstring injury, made nine appearances for Shrewsbury and was a big part of their climb out of the relegation zone.
Shrewsbury manager Steve Cotterill was keen to make Millar's move permanent but was not willing to pay the $50,000 transfer fee.
There was speculation that other League One and English Championship clubs were interested in the flyer but McKinna said they had not been approached.
Millar is understood to have been among a host of Shrewsbury players who contracted COVID-19 late last year but has since been cleared.
As a result of the virus, Millar missed the 1-0 win over Blackpool on December 29 - which was to have been his last game.
England is back in lockdown, which has impacted on Millar's training resume.
"His loan stint is over with Shrewsbury Town so he hasn't been able to train with them, but he is naturally fit and has been working on his own around the lockdown restrictions," McKinna said.
On arrival in Australia, Millar will spend 14 days in hotel quarantine before rejoining the Jets.
The Jets have missed Millar's thrust down the right touchline in the opening three losses.
The game-changer scored four goals and provided three assists last campaign - his first for the Jets - and formed a lethal combination with Roy O'Donovan.
Jason Hoffman returned from a calf injury at right wingback in the controversial 2-1 loss to Macarthur on Sunday.
Hoffman got through 60 minutes and is expected to back up against the Roar at home on Wednesday night.
Lucas Mauiragis did well off the bench but is naturally a left-sided player.
Interim coach Millar is unlikely to make many, if any, changes for Wednesday's third straight game at home.
"Half of the team are young players and need some coaching and education," Deans said. "We don't have time for that at the moment.
"But I think the benefit of having some youth is that they are robust and physically they can get through games."
"It is a little bit of a challenge to get everyone's head in the right space for Wednesday. But I'm sure the way the players have reacted in the past I don't think it will be a problem."
Meanwhile, McKinna said interviews with prospective coaches, including Deans, would start in the next week.
"We are cutting a list of 20-odd applicants down to a shortlist and they will be presented to an advisory panel," McKinna said.
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