Smeltz on Newcastle's radar for January transfer window

Newcastle Jets coach Mark Jones said Shane Smeltz, second all-time on the A-League goal-scoring list, was being considered as a possible target for the club in the January transfer window.

Smeltz

Shane Smeltz in action for Sydney FC Source: Getty Images

"His name has come up a few times," Jones told The World Game. "It's about trying to get the best fit for the club, but he is certainly someone we're looking at.

"Someone of Shane Smeltz's quality we'd have to be interested in."

Smeltz is back in Sydney after a successful half-season stint playing for Kedah FC in the Malaysia Super League.

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The 35-year-old striker told The World Game that after a short rest he had recently begun training privately with a view to striking a new deal when the window opens - either in the A-League or elsewhere in Asia.

"I'm looking forward to the next challenge and the timing is good for me," Smeltz said.

"I haven't written off the idea of going back to Malaysia, but you've got Asia opening up everywhere and the possibility of something here in the A-League in January as well.



"Right now I couldn't tell you what I'll be doing, but I'm sure in a few weeks I'll work that out.

"The A-League is my league in a way. It's something I've been involved in for over 10 years and there is a connection to my heart there and the way it works is that a striker who can score goals is always going to be in demand.

"Every year I've been in the A-League there are always a number of teams that are looking to freshen things up in the January window, but you've also got all of these other leagues in Asia getting ready to start so it makes sense to keep an open mind."

Newcastle's squad was thin on depth to start with and has been beset by injury. The ninth-placed Jets have scored only five goals in nine games.

Jones said striker was one of several positions in which he was looking to strengthen the squad.



"We'd like to come to a mutual agreement with some players to terminate their contracts and open up two or three places in our squad," he told The World Game.

"Some players are not getting game-time even when we've had a lot of injuries, so it's to everyone's advantage for them to get opportunities elsewhere and for us to have players in our squad we're going to use.

"We'd like to score more goals and we'd like to be able to keep possession of the ball better, so a six, or a 10, or a nine, but we just need some strengthening. We're very competitive with a full squad, but we've had a lot of players out and we need more depth and quality."

Smeltz, who has scored 89 goals in 178 A-League games and was most recently seen here last season with Sydney FC, said he had enjoyed his Malaysian stint.

"I scored 11 goals in the league and cup competitions and played every game," he said.


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3 min read
Published 7 December 2016 at 8:09pm
By Greg Prichard