DAMIAN Zane reckons Jack Simmons should be playing in the A-League and the Broadmeadow Magic coach wants to help the teenage midfielder get back there.
Simmons made his A-League debut for the Jets two years ago aged 17. It remains the Kotara South junior's only appearance in the top grade and he was released last month at the completion of a two-year scholarship contract.
Zane worked with Simmons at a Young Socceroos (under-20s) camp 18 months at which the Magic mentor assisted head coach Gary van Egmond.
"From my end, I think he is good enough to be in the A-League," Zane said. "Every coach is different. Someone will see something that others won't.
"I thought he was fantastic in the Young Socceroos. He does a lot of the good build-up play, he is clever and works hard."
When Simmons was among 10 players released by the Jets Zane "reached out" and on Sunday the 19-year-old will play his first game for Magic against Weston, albeit in reserve grade. The first grade game has been postponed due to the impact of COVID restrictions on Weston.
The first grade game between Valentine and Adamstown has also been postponed.
"It is not a nice position for a young guy to be in where their world is turned upside down," Zane said. "I reached out and asked if he wanted to train to stay fit. He has a trial organised in about six weeks and wants to play some games. He will probably have a run in reserve grade this week because he hasn't had a run in quite a while."
Magic lead the ladder by four points and have an abundance of attacking options. As a teenager, Simmons is worth zero points on the player points system.
"We would have had enough points [spare] regardless," Zane said. "I like guys who can move and play at both ends.
"Jack is in a similar mould to Keanu [Moore]. They both have a really good work ethic for guys who are talented with the ball. I think he is the perfect fit. As I said, I hope it is only short-term."
Edgeworth coach Michael Bridge will control the side via remote when the Eagles host Olympic on Sunday.
Bridges, works as a football expert for Optus Sports and has been in lockdown in Sydney during the European Championships.
"I go from the studio to the hotel, studio, hotel," Bridges said. "I have coached from BarTV before and I will be doing it again on the weekend. My assistants Rod Linsley and Garry Wilson are part of the DNA at the club. I liaise with the staff and boys via WhatsApp and phone calls re training. I text during the game if I see something and I will ring just before half-time before the boys go into the shed."
The Eagles welcome back attackers Kristian Brymora and Will Bower from long-term injuries.
In the other game Sunday, Charlestown Azzurri are home to Maitland.