Young Jet eager to rediscover best form

By , 09/10/2019 18:46

Scott Neville KICKING ON: Scott Neville.
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KICKING ON: Scott Neville.

NEWCASTLE defender Scott Neville believes he is ready to put his best foot forward next season after conceding he struggled physically and mentally in his first campaign with the Jets.

Neville played in 18 games last season after arriving in Newcastle from Perth Glory, but by his own admission the 24-year-old was disappointed with his contribution.

A lingering groin injury that Neville sustained just before the season-opener did not help his cause, restricting him on the field and gradually eroding his self-belief.

“Obviously it knocks your confidence a bit and you can’t play to your full potential, but I’m big enough to say that I didn’t play how I wanted to play all season,” Neville said yesterday.

“I had a couple of good games but just enough consistency throughout the season.

“It was just a lack of confidence and lack of form. Disappointing overall, I’d say.”

Neville, who played 63 games for Perth in four seasons before joining Newcastle, weighed up off-season surgery to repair his adductor muscle but decided that would be his last resort.

“I was close to having surgery, but me, the physio and the club doctor put a procedure in place where I’ve got to do a lot of extra rehab, a bit of pilates, and it’s just getting stronger and stronger by the week,” he said.

“I’ve been back in full training about a week and a half now and I’m just looking forward to kicking on.”

Neville was hoping to play “half a game” in tonight’s pre-season trial match against third-tier Newcastle University at Ulinga Oval, South Cardiff.

With Newcastle’s Young Socceroos Adam Taggart, Andrew Hoole, Connor Chapman and Josh Brillante and marquee striker Emile Heskey all overseas, Neville said tonight’s hit-out was an early opportunity to impress.

“It gives a chance for all the boys to put their stamp on their position and hopefully nail it down,” he said.

“It’s a test of our match fitness and also what we’ve been working on.

“We have to make sure we’re nice and sharp and get through the game.”

Asked about his plans for the coming season, Neville replied: “Just to be more consistent . . . this year I have to come back and show what I’m worth.”

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