Heskey at the double for Jets
Emile Heskey's sojourn to Australia has seemingly transformed the English striker into a goal-scoring machine, with the striker bagging a double overnight to take him to four goals from his first four games in the A-League.
Heskey, 34 , has been much maligned throughout his career for his lack of goals, but since arriving in Australia he has lit up the competition with some eye catching displays that have rivalled fellow big name recruit, Alessandro Del Piero.
The English striker was back in the swing on Friday night with a well taken double getting the Newcastle Jets home over the Melbourne Victory 2-1 at Hunter Stadium. The two goals takes Heskey to the top of the goal scoring charts and he becomes the first Jets player to score in three successive games since former striker Joel Griffiths.
Before arriving at the Jets, Heskey's strike rate was one goal every 4.6 games in his time with Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa. Whilst more noted for his ability to play as a target man and hold up the ball and create opportunities for his teammates, his new found goal scoring ability has many talking both in his new home of Australia and across his former home in England.
Many have taken to Twitter to show their support for the English striker, so much so that "HeskeyforEngland" was a trending topic on the social media website on Friday night, although it is unlikely the hashtag will have much effect on Roy Hodgson's selection plans.
Newcastle Jets manager Gary van Egmond tipped before the start of the season that Heskey would surprise many in front of goal and van Egmond said he was elated at the Englishman's performance, not only for his goal, but also his ability to link with other players including Ryan Griffiths and young guns Craig Goodwin and James Virgili.
"We have a lot of really really good lieutenants but he's the one who we need as the person who really leads that line," van Egmond said. "With that amount of confidence and time that other players are getting, and the fact they're able to do better things with the ball, is a lot to do with what Emile does with the ball. "He might not have as many touches as some players but his positioning and the way he attracts certain players, the other players are really benefiting from that."
Heskey's form has coincided with a superb start for the Jets with their third successive win ensuring their best start to an A-League campaign. Van Egmond believes his team still needs plenty of improvement but admitted it was a dream start.
"We were always very confident with the work that we've done in the off-season," he said. But if you would have asked me at the beginning of the year, would you take three out of four, I definitely would have taken it."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report