One A-League commentator said he looked like a “Rolls-Royce” on debut but Newcastle Jets marquee signing Ronny Vargas knows he’ll be better for the run.
Ahead of Sunday’s home game against Perth Glory the 30-year-old Venezuelan international was both taken aback and thankful for the description handed down by former Socceroos and English Premier League goalkeeper Mark Bosnich.
“Wow,” Vargas said with a smile after training at Ray Watt Oval on Thursday.
“To be compared like this, all I can say is thanks. Those comments are very positive.”
The line was delivered during the weekend’s stunning season opener, which saw the Jets post a memorable 5-1 derby victory away against rivals the Central Coast Mariners.
Vargas started, less than three weeks after arriving in Newcastle from Belgium, and played 61 minutes in a “physical” encounter.
“It was an emotional game,” he said.
“There was a lot of running and a lot of contact, so you didn’t really have time to create because of this. But the positive was our counter attack, that was good for us.”
Now he’s in the midst of preparations for round two, the first in front of Jets fans at McDonald Jones Stadium, and Vargas reckons improvement will come with each 90 minutes out in the middle.
“I think I will be better,” Vargas said.
“It’s not only physical because every day you are training physical, so then you’re going to say you’re very good physically or you’re in very good condition or whatever you want to call it.
“I think in football right now it’s game by game. The game’s going to give you better confidence.”
Vargas wasn’t giving too much away but about what he learned from watching some of Perth’s 2-1 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers on television on Sunday.
However, he was hopeful his new-found attacking combination with hat-trick hero Roy O’Donovan, fellow recruit Demi Petratos and winger Andrew Nabbout continued to develop.
Meanwhile and Jason Hoffman, whose wife Natasa gave birth to the couple’s first child this week, returns to the Jets squad named on Thursday after missing last weekend with a minor quad issue.
The Glory this week signed two injury replacement players – Mitch Mallia and Jeremy Walker – and both have been included in the extended 18-man group for Sunday.
Kick-off is 5pm.
To be compared like this, all I can say is thanks."
JETS SQUAD: 1 Jack Duncan (gk), 3 Jason Hoffman, 4 Nigel Boogaard (c), 5 Ben Kantarovski, 6 Steven Ugarkovic, 7 Dimitri Petratos, 8 Ronald Vargas, 9 Roy O’Donovan, 10 Wayne Brown, 13 Ivan Vujica, 15 Andrew Nabbout, 16 Nick Cowburn, 17 Daniel Georgievski, 19 Kosta Petratos, 20 Glen Moss (gk), 22 Lachlan Jackson, 24 Joe Champness, 44 Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
GLORY SQUAD: 2 Alex Grant, 4 Shane Lowry, 5 Jacob Poscoliero, 8 Xavi Torres, 9 Andy Keogh (c), 11 Mitch Mallia, 13 Nick Feely (gk), 14 Chris Harold, 15 Brandon Wilson, 16 Joseph Mills, 17 Diego Castro, 18 Andreu Guerao, 19 Joe Knowles, 20 Jake Brimmer, 22 Adam Taggart, 23 Scott Neville, 29 Jeremy Walker, 33 Liam Reddy (gk).