Rooney: Fighting fit

We catch up with rising star, Sean Rooney, on the eve of the sudden-death Semi-Final against Gold Coast United.

If you tallied the efforts of Newcastle Jets players in fixtures against Gold Coast United this season, striker Sean Rooney would surely rank as one of the most valuable players on the playing roster.

The athletic 20-year-old has scored twice against the Surfers Paradise-based side and also laid on an assist in the three matches against Miron Bleiberg-s men, each time proving himself to be an priceless asset for the Jets when the two teams meet.

Speaking with newcastlejets.com.au following the Jets- final training session on Hunter soil before their Friday flight to the glitter strip, Rooney said he-s fully overcome a niggling calf injury picked up in Townville and is again ready to do a job for coach Branko Culina against the Gold Coast.

“I-ve had a solid couple of training sessions now and it [the injury] feels good, fine,” Rooney said.

“I-m not sure if I-m starting – if it-s another striker starting I-m sure they can do the job as well – but hopefully I just play well, the team plays well and we get the win.”

Rooney explained that the collective ability to shift Gold Coast-s backline would be integral to staying alive in the sudden-death Semi-Final, in the process pointing to the strengths of teammates and fellow attackers Labinot Haliti and Ali Abbas.

“We-ve got a lot of mobility up front no matter who plays so I-m sure we-ll shift their back four around,” he said.

“I-m sure if it happens to be us three (Rooney, Haliti and Abbas) we can do the job.”

And despite heading into their finals campaign on the back of several defeats, Rooney moved to assure supporters that spirit within the camp was strong, and the team is eager to prove their critics wrong.

“The boys are all pumped,” he said.

“It-s a Semi-Final, do-or-die, we have to leave everything on the park and if we do that, hopefully we get the win.”