ANGUS Thurgate has finally managed to do what he hadn’t done in seven A-League appearances – score against an A-League opponent.
It was a mid-week friendly match against Sydney FC, but his strike that rattled the roof of the net still counts.
The 18-year-old Port Saints junior had previously gone close to putting his name on the score sheet several times since he made his Newcastle Jets debut on January 12 this year.
On that occasion against Brisbane Roar, he slid in at the back post only to find the ball evade his desperate lunge to bundle it into the back of the net.
But on Wednesday, Thurgate continued his impressive form with a 30th minute goal in the Jets’ 2-1 friendly loss to the Sky Blues.
He attacked the six-yard box and finished off a pin-point Daniel Georgievski cross.
In the process, he scored his first senior goal and now chief executive Lawrie McKinna expects him to start banging them in for fun.
“I think his best position is in the attacking third,” McKinna said.
“Now he’s scored his first senior A-League goal, it will be a monkey off his back.
“He was a bit unlucky last season where he hit the post and a few things, but he’ll get some confidence from that.”
Thurgate was a constant threat playing in a wide attacking role on the right and was the Jets third and final substitution they made.
“He cuts in which is what Ernie likes,” McKinna said.
“Gus is the type of player that you can put anywhere and he’ll do a job for you.
“Because he’s such a good athlete he’s one of those boys that covers a lot of ground.”
It was an impressive 70-minute stint in a different role after he had come off the bench last season and provided plenty of headaches for opposition defences in the final stages.
If the 18-year-old’s progression continues on the same upward trajectory, McKinna expects him to build on his seven A-League appearances this season.
“As the season goes on you always get injuries, so I expect he’ll start a couple of games,” McKinna said.
“His next goal is to score in an A-League game and then to start an A-League game.”