Musialik a chance for Jets lifeline

JETS coach Gary van Egmond wants to help  Stuart Musialik get ‘‘back on his feet’’ as an A-League footballer, although it appears the home-grown Novocastrian may have to wait until next season to resume his professional career.

Musialik has not played in the A-League since February, 2011, when he parted company with Sydney FC after three seasons.

He spent last season at the Central Coast Mariners, however  injuries and off-field issues prevented him from playing in their first team, and he has since returned to Newcastle. The former Olyroos midfielder was a star in van Egmond’s 2007-08 premiership-winning team and, at 27, would appear young enough to make a comeback.

‘‘I’ve met with Stuey a couple of times,’’ van Egmond said yesterday.

‘‘I don’t want to pre-empt anything too much down the track, because certain things that have happened to him are very, very personal.

‘‘If we can help a Newcastle player get back on his feet and start to get back into football, we’d love to do that.’’

Van Egmond said the fact Newcastle’s roster was at full capacity might count against Musialik bolstering his squad in the short term. 

‘‘That might be the sticking point at this moment ... you never say never, but I would suggest it would be pretty unlikely [this season],’’ he said.

‘‘The most important thing is for Stuart to come back on his terms and to make sure he’s 100per cent right.

‘‘But he’s a Newcastle boy, he’s a really good guy and importantly he’s a wonderful player. 

‘‘We’ll just monitor that to see how it pans out. 

‘‘We’ll just have to take it one step at a time with him.’’

Asked if Musialik would be fit enough to resume in the short term, van Egmond replied: ‘‘You’re best to ask Stuey that.

‘‘He’s had a long time out of the game and I think the most important thing for Stuart is that he makes the decisions of what he’s looking to do, as far as his football is concerned.’’

 Musialik played 58 games for Newcastle in their first three seasons, the last of which was their 2008 grand final triumph against Central Coast.

He and Jets teammate Mark Bridge then signed with Sydney, where Musialik played another three seasons and 69 games, helping win the 2009-10 title.

Van Egmond’s troops flew out yesterday to Perth in preparation for their clash with the Glory at nib Stadium tomorrow.

It will be Newcastle’s second trip across the Nullabor in the space of six weeks, after their 3-2 loss on November 5.  

Suspended duo Ryan Griffiths and Josh Mitchell, who missed Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Mariners, have been reinstated, and teenager Adam Taggart has been rushed into the squad after returning from Socceroos duties.

Defender Tiago Calvano has also been recalled, but veteran striker Michael Bridges, who has played only 45 minutes this season, will not be required.

‘‘No, he’s not travelling,’’ van Egmond said.

‘‘We welcome back Taggs and we welcome back Ryan Griffiths in the front third and you have to make a decision.

‘‘Unfortunately Bridgey’s not even in the squad to travel.’’

Stuart Musialik.

Stuart Musialik.


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