Newcastle Jets: Dan Mullen’s dad helps recruit A-League defender Iain Fyfe I photos

Mullen’s dad helps recruit Jets defender I photos Iain Fyfe at his first Jets training run.
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Iain Fyfe at his first Jets training run.

Iain Fyfe at his first Jets training run.

Ivan Vujica

Iain Fyfe at his first Jets training run.

Goalkeeper Pierce Clark

Goalkeeper Pierce Clark

Mark Jones

TweetFacebook Jets training, Monday morningPictures: Marina NeilDaniel Mullen’s father helped the Newcastle Jets recruit veteran Iain Fyfe as a replacement for his injured son.

Fyfe joined the squad at training on Monday after agreeing to join Newcastle for at least six weeks as the club struggles with a cripplinginjury toll.

The 34-year-old former Sydney FC and Adelaide United centre back has played the past three seasons under Joe Mullen at South Australian Premier League club Campbelltown City.

And Jets coach Mark Jones said on Monday that Mullen senior had not hesitated inrecommending Fyfe after captain Nigel Boogaard limped off with an ankle injury against Melbourne City, becoming the fifth central defender on the club’s injury list.

“I spoke to everyone at Campbelltown, and obviously spoke to Dan’s dad, and he was very glowing in the praise of Fyfey, and he’s a good footballer, a good lad and a good communicator,” Jones said after watching the 2006 grand final winner at training.

“I thought he did well. He gives us experience. He’s been playing with Campbelltown in the South Australian NPL and did well. They won the grand final there, and he’s a decent player, good background, he’s played at the highest level, and hopefully he’ll be good for us.”

Fyfe has not played since Campbelltown won the SAPL grand final on September 10, but Jones said he had “kept himself fit” and could come into contention for a Jets debut on Sunday against the Central Coast at McDonald Jones Stadium.

“I wouldn’t rule it out, but he’d probably be better for a sort of seven- to 10-day preparation, but we’ll see how he goes,” Jones said.

Makeshift centre back Ben Kantarovski could come into consideration for the derby after resuming full training this week.

The Jets have conceded twice in each of their past four games, and all but one of those eight goals have come in the first half.

Jones was clearly frustrated after two “soft” goals left his side playing catch-up again against Melbourne City last week.

He was particular disappointed that his wide defenders did not put more pressure on Fernando Brandan and Bruce Kamau before they delivered crosses for Bruno Fornaroli to score.

“If we get to half-time [on Sunday] without conceding a goal, I’ll be extremely happy.We just have to make sure teams don’t score against us.

“We had numbers where they should be; wejust one-on-one didn’t do a job. We can put them in the right system and right shape and put them in the right areas, but if one-on-one they can’t do a job, you’re going to concede goals, and that was the most disappointing thing in all our games.

“We’ve not been caught out of shape; it’s just been individual errors, and that’s something that sort of kills you as a coach.”

Fyfe was a vocal presence at training on his first day, and Jones said he needed more talk from senior players in what he regards as a quiet, mild-mannered squad.

“His expectations are high, and hopefully that can press us to another level,” Jones said. “He’s a voice, he’s a leader. He demands the best of other players, and we need to do that.”

Youth team goalkeeper Pierce Clark is expected to return from injury this weekend as Jack Duncan’s back-up after Edgeworth’s Jim Fogarty filled that role in the past two games.

Jones said he would look for a longer-term signing in the January transfer window after the Jets lost Ben Kennedy to an Achilles injury just before the season.

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