Newcastle hail signing of Perth defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley

NEWCASTLE Jets assistant coach Mark Jones rates Nikolai Topor-Stanley one of the best centre-backs in Australia and believes he is the perfect man to fix the club's defensive woes.

Topor-Stanley yesterday agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Jets.

He is contracted to Perth until June 30, but the Glory are likely to allow an early departure in time for the Jets' Asian Champions League campaign, which starts on March 11.

The Jets are in desperate need of some steel at the back after Jade North's departure.

"Jado and Nikolai are different players, but he certainly fits the bill of what a centre-back needs to be," said Jones, who is responsible for the Jets' defence.

"If you look at Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea, their defensive records are that much better than all the other teams [in the Premier League.] They concede about a goal every second game.

"That is because they have two big, tall, mobile, technically sound centre-backs.

"I think Nikolai fits that mould. He is tall, comfortable on the ball and is one of the better centre-backs in the country."

Adam Griffiths has signed with new club Gold Coast but is expected to play the group stage of the ACL. He or Mark Milligan are most likely to partner Topor-Stanley in the heart of defence.

"Adam could still be a valuable asset in the ACL if his mind is on the job and he wants to be a part of it, which he says he does," Jones said.

"Topor-Stanley and Adam Griffiths as a centre-back pairing has height, is good in the air and has athleticism. It should be a good combination, as would Millsy and Topor-Stanley."

Topor-Stanley will take on his future teammates in the penultimate round of the season in Newcastle in a match which could decide the wooden spoon.

The 23-year-old fringe Socceroo is the first of six new faces the Jets hope to have before the ACL.

Former Broadmeadow Magic striker Joel Wood hopes he is one of them.

Wood, 24, is trialling with the Jets after a stint in Hong Kong at Tuen Mun Progoal.

He trained regularly with the Jets before heading overseas and was close to securing a contract.

"It would be nice to give another local bloke a go if we think he is up to it," Jones said.

"I do not think he was that far out of the mix at the start.

"The more he is around this environment and this intensity, the better he gets.

"There is no doubt that he is a magnificent athlete.

"He is a bit like Dirk Kuyt for Liverpool. He is quite tall, is a genuine target man and works and runs very hard."

The Jets could well do with Topor-Stanley and Wood for the trip to Adelaide tomorrow.

Teenage striker Sean Rooney is out for the rest of the season after suffering a fractured thumb in the 3-0 loss to Wellington on Sunday.

Jobe Wheelhouse (calf) and Song Jin-hyung (ankle) are also in doubt.

"Jobe and Song, if they can't train tomorrow, they won't play," Jones said yesterday. "If they're out, Brodie Mooy comes back into the picture, as does James Virgili and the likes of Jesse Pinto and Jarrad Ross."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop