a-league news

Jeffers has fitness worries at Newcastle trial

October 27, 2010

Newcastle Jets have raised concerns over the fitness of former Arsenal and Everton striker Francis Jeffers after flying him out ahead of a possible 10-week guest stint with the club.

Francis Jeffers
GettyImagesFrancis Jeffers scored just five goals in three years for Sheffield Wednesday.

Jeffers, who scored against Australia on his only appearance for England, arrived in Newcastle last weekend and has been training with the Jets under the watchful eye of head coach Branko Culina.

The striker as been a free agent since being released by Sheffield Wednesday in the summer and he sees the chance to join the Jets as a way to re-ignite his career.

"You can see he has got a better touch than the average player but his fitness is a fair-bit off, but you can only help that if you are training I suppose,'' Culina said. "But we will make a decision on him in the next couple of days. We don't want to keep him here for too long if we don't sign him,''

Culina feels the 29-year-old Jeffers does not fit easily with his side's style of play, but with skipper Michael Bridges sidelined for another two months with a knee injury and New Zealand international Jeremy Brockie also injured, the Jets are in dire need of a proven goalscorer.

"Looking at him he is not a target man, and it would require us to change our style of play, but if it meant scoring goals then I would be prepared to do that,'' Culina said. "But it is a big outlay so we have to feel quite confident he can do the job for us.''

Jeffers had what ultimately proved to be an unsuccessful trial with Blackpool in the summer.