Fierce competition has Duncan firing


An impressive Man-of-the-Match performance from Jack Duncan in goals helped Newcastle Jets keep their second clean sheet of the season as they picked-up a tough earned point against Brisbane.

The 27-year-old produced three crucial saves in what was a brilliant defensive display by the keeper.

According to Head Coach Craig Deans, Duncan’s form surge is the biproduct of fierce competition for spots within the squad.



“He’s a good goalkeeper, coming back from overseas this year and we have really good competition for positions with Jack and Lewis Italiano,” Deans said.

“Jack at the moment, knows he has to perform with somebody like Lewis waiting in the wings.”

Chances were hard to come by in the windy conditions and while the Jets chose to have the wind at their backs in the first half, they were unable to clinch their opportunities.

As the half-progressed, chances began to become more regular. Brisbane came close twice in quick succession.

Their first big opportunity found the back of the net, only for the linesman to rule that the ball had already gone out for a goal kick before it was crossed back in-field.

Minutes later, the league’s leading goal-scorer, Dylan Wenzel-Halls came close as he weaved his way through the Jets defence and fired a shot on goal that was brilliantly saved by a diving Duncan.

It was then the Jet’s turn to come within millimetres of scoring as Steven Ugarkovic found Valentino Yuel with a crafty ball from midfield and the striker unleashed a shot from long-range only to be denied by the right-hand upright.

In the second half, the Jets defence really stepped up and Duncan’s class came to the forefront.

It also saw coach Deans bring young defender Lucas Mauragis on for Kosta Petratos in the right-wing back position.



Mauragis defended extremely well on what is normally his unnatural side.

Brisbane found the back of the net on the hour mark through Japanese import Riku Danzaki but his celebration was short-lived as the lineman called him offside.

Shortly after, Duncan was again called to action in the hurling wind as Jay O’Shea’s corner was heading directly for the back of the net.

Duncan was quick to react, diving across the goalmouth to keep the swirling ball out of the net.

Danzaki kept testing Duncan but the keeper smothered the ball in what was a standout game for the keeper.

“We changed to a back-three at halftime and I thought Johnny, Nikolai, Boog’s outstanding,” Deans said.

“Young Mauragis came on, unnatural on the right but did a good job defensively and Connor was solid, didn’t get beaten all day and caused some trouble for the Roar’s defence with the ball.”