High-flying Jet worthy of Socceroos call-up

Andrew Nabbout of the Newcastle Jets gets past Melbourne City's Dean Bouzanis to score during their round 17 A-League match in Coffs Harbour.
Andrew Nabbout of the Newcastle Jets gets past Melbourne City's Dean Bouzanis to score during their round 17 A-League match in Coffs Harbour. PAUL MILLER

IF ANGE Postecoglou is looking for a player to kickstart the Socceroos' spluttering World Cup qualification campaign, he should look no further than Newcastle Jets winger Andrew Nabbout.

The 24-year-old's two goals in the Jets' 2-1 success over Melbourne City on Friday night means he now has seven from 11 games since signing for the Newcastle outfit in the off-season.

Nabbout also has three assists and has been one of the main reasons why the Jets have moved back into the A-League top six and are a chance to make finals.

His form has been outstanding this campaign since signing from Malaysian Premier League club Negeri Sembilan.

Nabbout not only has an eye for a goal, but has the ability to set up others, as he has already shown this season.

Postecoglou knows a lot about him, having given him his debut for the Melbourne Victory in December 2012.

Back then Nabbout's potential knew no bounds but his form with the Victory, particularly after Postecoglou left to take over the Socceroos, dropped away and he lost his way too, having a fruitless trial with the Central Coast Mariners before his stint in Malaysia.

Nabbout certainly had some work to do as he struggled to find the right club but he now seems to have found his feet at the Jets and his international career is possibly set to take off with him a huge chance to be chosen for Australia's next two World Cup qualifiers away to Iraq and at home to United Arab Emirates in March.

The Socceroos have lost their way a little in recent matches and someone such as Nabbout would be a good choice to help them get back on track.

He is the name on everyone's lips and Postecoglou would have no doubt been keeping tabs on the attacking player's performances this season.

The Socceroos coach has shown in the past he is not frightened of throwing A-League players into the fray at international level and he could do worse than give Nabbout his chance.

The Jets player's parents hail from Lebanon and although Nabbout said he would "work as hard as I can to put on that green and gold”, there is still a chance he could end up pulling on the jersey for his ancestral home.

"They've (Lebanon Football Association) contacted me a few times, but I'm concentrating on the league now, scoring as many goals as possible and getting as much game time,” Nabbout said.

"They said they wanted to bring me in; it was a real honour.”

To lose a player of Nabbout's obvious skill and flare would be a shame, so maybe Postecoglou should get in and give the winger his chance now.

Topics:  a league ange postecoglou newcastle jets socceroos sportopinion

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