Daniel Georgievski will wear his favourite No.17 shirt in his first competitive match for the Jets on Wednesday night, but the club will hope it is not the only lucky charm he brings to Newcastle.
Georgievski has a five-year trophy-winning streak dating back to his first season with Steau Bucharest in 2012-13 when the club won their first Romanian Liga 1 championship in seven years.
The Red and Blues won the league by 16 points that season and backed it up the following year with another championship.
Georgievski then carried his winning form to Australia when he helped Melbourne Victory to the 2014-15 A-League title then the 2015 FFA Cup trophy. Last season Victory lost the A-League final to Sydney FC, but Georgievski won the Joe Marston Medal as player of the match.
Now he plans to bring success to Newcastle, starting with the Jets’ FFA Cup round-of-32 game against Adelaide at Marden Sports Complex on Wednesday night.
“We were basically no-names in a way, and we won it comfortably,” the 29-year-old said of his first season at Steau Bucharest.
“The next season as well we won it. Then I came to Melbourne, and Melbourne the same thing – they hadn’t won in five or six seasons and my first season we won it.
“Second season we won the FFA Cup, and last year lost the [league] final.
“It could happen here as well. That was one reason I came here, to try to keep that consistency.”
Georgievski last wore No.17 when he was at Steau.
“It was my lucky number overseas, but when I came to Australia [Matthieu] Del Pierre had it and he wouldn’t give it up. I wouldn’t have gone and asked him because he’s a big boy.
“It’s my birthday, and I had it overseas. I'm not superstitious – I just like the look of it, and when you’re born on that day.”
The left back said the Jets had not “totally clicked” yet in the pre-season, and he expected a stiff challenge from Adelaide at home.
“New team, new structure, new everything. It is still part of our pre-season workout, but it’s competitive. I’m actually excited about it.”
The left back said he had to get “much, much fitter” as he adapts to a new role under Merrick, who has demanded a more attacking approach from his side.
“It benefits my style. It definitely is a bigger role. It’s sticking to a structure, and if you see something two steps before, you go and do it.
“If I do get a chance to have a shot and score, I haven’t scored in two years.”
Wednesday’s match has extra meaning for Georgievski after the FFA announced the cup competition would help promote the DonateLife campaign, which aims to increase the number of people joining the Australian Organ Donor Register.
Georgievski is good friends with former Victory and now Genk goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, whose baby son, Harley, received a life-saving liver transplant late last year.
“I had someone close to me waiting for something like this, so obviously I got to see it first-hand, someone that did need it,” he said.
“It was a tough road for him, day in day out. He kept strong, but you could see it was difficult.
“When someone is affected, waiting for a donor, and they’re just waiting, waiting for a year, year and a half. When the transplant happened he said it was the happiest day.”
Australians can register as organ donors at the new donatelife.gov.au website.