Ex-Melbourne Victory midfielder Jimmy Jeggo has applauded former team-mate Andrew Nabbout’s start to the Hyundai A-League season, praising the latter’s decision to leave home to advance his career.
Nabbout has started life at Newcastle Jets in magnificent fashion, leading the club for assists (2) and chances created (6) in the opening two rounds, which has seen the ex-Victory winger earn best-on-ground honours in both games.
Newcastle have drawn 1-1 reigning champions Adelaide United and crushed Brisbane Roar 4-0 on Sunday.
It has been a great return to the A-League for Nabbout, who was released by Victory in May 2015, not long after fellow Melburnian Jeggo also left the club to sign for Adelaide.
Jeggo thrived in South Australia, playing 43 A-League matches in his 18 months with the Reds before leaving for Sturm Graz in Austria.
That pathway has seen Jeggo earn his maiden call-up to the Caltex Socceroos this month, with the 24-year-old midfielder watching from the bench as Australia drew in Saudi Arabia and against Japan in Melbourne in World Cup qualifying.
Nabbout found it slightly tougher post-Victory, as he waited over six months for his next professional contract with Malaysian second-tier club Negeri Sembilan.
The 23-year-old scored nine goals in all competitions in Malaysia before returning to Australia to sign for the Jets in July.
Jeggo has been impressed by how Nabbout and other Victory alumni Jesse Makarounas (Adelaide) and Connor Pain (Central Coast Mariners) are thriving at other A-League clubs.
“[Victory is] a massive club with fantastic facilities and they’ve had fantastic coaching staff in place for the last couple of years now, and you see [the results] from that,” Jeggo said.
“I think it’s a tough place to break through because the club is always wanting to be successful, and as a young player, sometimes it’s hard.
“But it’s good to see those players go away and do well.
“Sometimes it’s hard to leave a club where you’re comfortable but I think for a lot of players it’s a good thing.”
Jeggo was straight back into action with Sturm Graz over the weekend, playing 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Ried that saw his team extend their lead in the Austrian Bundesliga to eight points.
The Austria-born midfielder has been critical to Graz’s league dominance so far in 2016-17, starting all 11 matches.
Having had a taste of international football this month, Jeggo is desperate to maintain his club form and convince Australia coach Ange Postecoglou that he deserves game time with the Socceroos.
“To be around the set-up and be around two massive games… in front of two big crowds, it’s been a really good buzz,” Jeggo said.
“It whets your appetite a little bit more. So I’ve just got to go back to my club and keep working hard and doing well and hopefully I can be here again.”