Australian side Newcastle Jets have had to place an order for an additional 5,000 Emile Heskey jerseys after they sold out of their first batch following the striker’s move to the New South Wales club.
The former England forward had been without a club after leaving Aston Villa in the summer before choosing to rejuvenate his career down under in a switch that has brought much excitement to Aussie fans.
The 34-year-old’s move comes shortly after Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero signed for rivals Sydney FC. The arrival of these two former internationals looks set to boost the profile of the A-League and Jets boss Gary van Egmond believes that the former Liverpool striker can have a big impact for the club both on and off the field.
The coach told Fox Sports of Heskey: “He ticks all the boxes, in a footballing sense, with his ability and experience … and from a commercial and marketing point of view. He’s going to be a great fit.
“We are obviously all hoping he is going to be ready to go. From my understanding, he’s been training at Wigan and has kept himself in really good nick.
“Everyone’s hopeful it’s all OK and he’s in decent shape but, as I say, we can’t do any more at this stage except wait until we see him in the flesh and then go from there.”
Heskey’s new team-mate, Swiss defender Dominik Ritter, voiced his delight at the big names heading to the A-League and the chance to play alongisde the ex-Three Lions man.
“When I came here, I didn’t know much about Australian football,” Ritter declared. “Then a couple of weeks ago, Del Piero signed [for Sydney] and everyone from Switzerland, my family and friends, all texted me saying how great it was.
“Now Emile Heskey is coming to play with me and my team. It’s very, very exciting.”