Key players to miss West Wallsend clash
BY ALEX TIGANI
All eyes were initially on Jackson Cox and Hayden Nicol the last time the Strikers faced off against West Wallsend.
Cox, already considered a club legend by the age of 28, lined up for his 200th game that evening while Nicol, the club’s drought breaking championship captain, reached the 100-game milestone.
Fast forward an hour later and Joel Barner had become the Howe Park hero as he scored two memorable goals on Good Friday.
The prolific striker was joined by his brother Jake and the two milestone men on the goal-scorer’s sheet and the home crowd cheered on a memorable 5-0 victory.
Now the tables have turned as Barner has been confirmed he will be unavailable for this week’s clash while Hayden Nicol and Bradley Cox remain sidelined due to injury.
Even cult hero Joseph Civello is currently overseas and will not be able to return this week.
Enter Jack Clare.
“One thing we pride ourselves on is that it is not a one-man team,” Singleton coach Mick Jarvis explained.
“We threw a challenge to Jack ‘to play reserve grade (after missing some football last year), score goals and we’ll take a look at you’.
“That can be hard to take but what it does is it also shows character and are they prepared to do that.
“He dropped down and scored a few goals in reserve grade, scored some goals with us and I think his game has evolved.”
The return of Kane Goodchild from Charlestown Azzurri has also inspired West Wallsend to win four of their past five games.
“Our job will be to shut down his service.”