Double blow for struggling Jets

January 20, 2015 11:59:28 UK

Newcastle Jets have lost midfielder James Virgili for up to three months, and learned that striker Andrew Hoole will leave at the end of the season.

The A-League side, who have won just one of their 14 games this season, will redouble their efforts to bring in players during the transfer window after seeing Virgili suffer an ankle injury in training.

He fractured a bone in his left ankle and will need surgery later this week, putting him on the sidelines for at least two months.

The Jets, who are 5.00 to finish in the top six, are already three men down in their squad following the departures of Jonny Steele, Marcos Flores and Sam Gallaway.

Coach Phil Stubbins will now look to add an injury replacement signing to their squad to fill the gap created by Virgili’s absence.

Stubbins said: “James’ injury is a blow, especially at a time when he was playing and in good form, but he is young and resilient so we are hopeful that the operation and recovery will go well.

“We are continuing to look at options during the transfer window and this injury may mean we need to look at injury replacement while James is unavailable.”

Newcastle had been hoping to agree to terms with 21-year-old attacker Hoole, but the Australian youth international has told the club he will be leaving when his contract expires at the end of the season.

It’s understood Hoole has been negotiating with Sydney FC for several weeks, and will be linking up with the Sky Blues ahead of next season.

“Andrew is a good young player that we have helped develop and we’ve made no secret that we wanted to keep him at the club,” said Stubbins. “We put a strong offer to Andrew to renew his contract but we have been informed that he has decided to sign with another club for next season.”

Newcastle resume their A-League campaign on Saturday when they are 8.00 to beat Adelaide United, who are 1.40 with the draw 4.50.

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