JETS recruit Joey Gibbs hopes to bring his Midas touch for trophies to Newcastle.
The 20-year-old striker or attacking midfielder has joined the Jets on a one-year deal after playing 13 games for Western Sydney Wanderers, who won the 2012-13 A-League Premiers’ Plate in their inaugural season.
Just 17 years old at the time, Gibbs made his A-League debut when he came off the bench in Sydney FC’s grand final victory over Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium in March 2010.
In 2012, before joining the Wanderers for their maiden A-League campaign, he scored 12 goals in 25 appearances for NSW Premier League champions Marconi.
‘‘I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to trophies, so hopefully here we can do something similar,’’ said Gibbs, who hails from Gosford and played for Manly and Marconi in the NSW Premier League before joining Sydney FC’s youth squad.
Gibbs said he joined the Jets to learn on the job alongside English veterans Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges under the coaching of Gary van Egmond.
‘‘Those players in my positions, I’m going to learn a lot,’’ Gibbs said. ‘‘Gary van Egmond, he’s known for producing young footballers, and there’s a lot that have come from Newcastle Jets and moved on.
‘‘And, besides that, I like the area and I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the area. It’s a football area and nearly everyone I know from Newcastle are football fans, so there’s a lot of attractions about it.
‘‘There’s some good players in this squad ... and the experienced ones we have are of the top class, in Heskey and Bridges and [captain] Ruben [Zadkovich] as well.
‘‘They all seem like good blokes, from the first session, so I’m looking forward to the year.’’
Gibbs trained with the Jets for the first time at Ray Watt Oval yesterday and has been included in their 10-man squad to play in the Singapore Soccer Sixes tournament this weekend.
‘‘I’m very excited. First week and I get to jet off overseas, so it will be good fun and I think it will be a good opportunity to meet the boys and learn what Gary wants to do this season.’’
Gibbs said he enjoyed the experience of the Wanderers’ fairytale first season and left the club with nothing but fond memories.
‘‘I look back on the year and I’m grateful for what’s happened,’’ he said. ‘‘I think it was a special year for everyone involved at the club. It was disappointing to leave, but I leave with a lot of experience.’’
He considers himself a ‘‘natural No.9 or 10’’ but, considering the calibre of the players in those positions at the Jets, would be more than happy to secure a position anywhere in the front third.
He indicated that other A-League clubs had shown interest in securing his services but, once the Jets made him an offer, Newcastle seemed a comfortable fit on and off the field.
‘‘As I said before, learning from the likes of a Heskey and a Bridges, and working under Gary, it was definitely the right choice, really,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s just up the road for my family, so I’m close to home.’’