Andrew Nabbout super-charged his club career under Ange Postecoglou – now under a coach Postecoglou once hired, the forward can replicate that early success again, says former teammate Alex Smith.
Jets fans won’t see Nabbout tonight (Wed) for his first hitout, with a planned friendly against a local NPL selection called off due to heavy rain.
But Nabbout is set to make his competitive debut against his former club Melbourne Victory in the Westfield FFA Cup on August 3 in Newcastle.
Nabbout, 23, was announced yesterday on a two-season deal as the Jets’ rebuild continues under Scott Miller, a coach who was part of Postecoglou’s first coaching team when the Socceroos hosted Costa Rica in late 2013.
The forward returns to the Hyundai A-League from Malaysia where he last played with Negeri Sembilan in the Malaysian Premier League (the second division underneath the Malaysian Super League).
There, Nabbout scored nine goals in 14 competitive games in 2016.
But A-League fans will recall some spectacular goals from the burly young forward under Ange Postecoglou at Victory (one goal at Sydney FC in particular will live long in the memory of Big V fans from back in 2012 when Nabbout came on and won the game at Allianz).
But after Postecoglou left to pilot the Caltex Socceroos in late 2013, Nabbout didn’t figure as much in Kevin Muscat’s plans and the forward parted ways with Victory in 2015.
He moved on to Malaysian club Negeri Sembilan for 2016 as part of a quartet of Australian signings at the time (Joel Chianese, Taylor Regan and Alex Smith were also acquired).
One of the striker’s teammates at Negeri has no doubt Scott Miller has acquired a player with a point to prove – starting with his former club Victory in the Cup.
“I’m really happy for him. He did really well here, him and Joel [Chianese],” Alex Smith told www.a-league.com.au.
The former A-League player is now starring at Negeri Sembilan alongside former Jets defender Taylor Regan and the recently acquired Brisbane Roar Championship winner Henrique.
Overnight, Smith and Henrique were on target for the club in a thrilling 3-2 Malaysian Cup win as the club looks to move on from releasing the attacking duo.
“Andrew and Joel were the two leading scorers on the team,” added Smith, the former Wellington Phoenix player and, like Henrique, a naturalised Aussie.
“But I think he’ll do well at Newcastle and it’s obviously worked out for him.
“Andrew is still very young and he has had a lot of experience at Victory playing in some big games in front of big crowds.
“But people forget that he’s still young with a lot to learn, but what he has is raw pace and a great attitude – and he can run for days.
“I’ve no doubt he’s do well and score goals at Newcastle.”