Newcastle Jets defender Tarek Elrich has revealed that the club attempted to sign Robbie Kruse when he was with Brisbane Roar. But the Jets were unsuccessful in their pursuit and the 22-year old striker ended up at Melbourne Victory where he is playing brilliant football with 10 goals so far this season.
And Elrich, who played with Kruse at junior Australian level, is well aware of the threat he can produce ahead of the meeting between the clubs on Monday.
"I played with him in the Aussie under 20s and knew he was quality," Elrich told the Newcastle Herald.
"[Former coach] Gary van Egmond tried to get him to the Jets when he had the falling out with Brisbane [Roar] a couple of years ago.
"He ended up at Melbourne and is now starting to realise his potential. Moving away from Queensland has obviously been good for him and probably helped him grow up.
"Having quality players around you also helps; being able to learn off the likes of Archie and Carlos Hernandez."
The Jets, as pointed out by Elrich, will be desperate to get back to their winning ways after a disappointing 4-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix last weekend as they strive to remain in the top six.
"After a disappointing result, the next game can't come quick enough," Elrich added. "We don't fear Melbourne."