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PLAY IT SHORT (A-LEAGUE): Jeggo not Victory's future, Holman Villa gamble, take Sydney job Ernie

JEGGO THE HERE AND NOW FOR VICTORYJimmy Jeggo isn't the future of Melbourne Victory. He's the here and now. Jeggo was outstanding against the Nix on Friday. He really put in a fantastic shift. He showed off his passing range, he was box-to-box all night and most importantly competed for everything. The boy's got the lot. He can pick out a pass - and he moves it quickly. He'll win a 40-60 ball and on Friday, with Diogo Ferreira sitting back , he was able to get beyond Archie Thompson several times with late runs.Ferreira can also be satisfied with his performance. He should be feeling more confident about surviving the winter clearout after a shaky start to his time under Magilton.The manner of the third goal shouldn't be lost on the Victory board. Ferreira won the ball and sprayed it out to Julius Davies, who clipped it in for Thompson to set up Jeggo for his screamer. And they say Victory's youth system is a failure?Youth isn't enough for a club of Victory's size. You're not going to get consistent performances from kids of 17 and 18. But it does show fans that the foundations are being put in place for a new, successful era.Maybe its asking too much, but after Davies, it would be great to see Magilton involve Kwabene Boahene in the final game at Perth Glory.

HOLMAN MAKING COURAGEOUS MOVEIf this time next year we're talking about Brett Holman as a first-choice at Aston Villa, then Australia will have a very special player on our hands. Going from AZ Alkmaar to the Premier League is a big enough leap, but when you consider the competition Holman faces, it's a massive challenge - and opportunity - he's taken on. Stephen Ireland, Stiliyan Petrov, Barry Bannan and Gary Gardner will be his competition. All similar players with big reputations. And there's also likely to be Danny Guthrie arriving on a Bosman from Newcastle United. It's a test for Holman, but if he survives he will have lifted his game up 2-3 levels - which is perhaps the test he is looking for.

CARLE A COLUSSUSNick Carle was absolutely magnificent on Saturday night. Wow! What a player! His reputation for being 'silky-skilled' really doesn't do him justice. Yes, everything good about Sydney came through him, but the amount of work he put in when Melbourne Heart had possession was awesome. Some in the Sydney soccer clique say he works 'too hard' off the ball. Rubbish! He showed on Saturday night he's strong enough to pull the strings when on the ball - and also more than capable of breaking up play when without it. It shouldn't have surprised his teammates lifted in the second-half - how could they look Carle in the eye if they failed to be inspired by such an all-action performance?

MULVEY DESERVES SOME GOOD PRESSAre they playing on adrenaline or are these Gold Coast United kids the real thing? After beating Perth Glory last night, Mike Mulvey, the GCU coach, made the exciting comment that the next crop coming through are even better than the lads we're now seeing on the national stage. Let's hope Geoffrey Schuhkraft's interest can be turned into serious investment. If not, then any A-League club with a bit of ambition should be drawing up plans about a Gold Coast-based academy - with Mulvey in charge. Seeing so many of his lads shine at the top level is no fluke. He's doing some incredible work - and deserves greater recognition for it.

MAGILTON-KEWELL INTERACTION EXCITING It's exciting seeing the interaction between Harry Kewell and Jim Magilton. They obviously see the game in the same way - and have a great mutual respect. Magilton is happy to draw on Kewell's experience and advice - and vice-versa. It's something new for Australian football - we haven't seen the former Liverpool man respond so demonstrably to a coach before. Kewell's form in the second-half of the season has been one of the great triumphs of Magilton's short reign. And his injury management shouldn't be underestimated. 'They' were lining up to write him off when he first signed over his injury history - but look at the way he's playing now.

STICK IT UP 'EM, ERNIEI would LOVE to see Ernie Merrick in charge of Sydney FC. The A-League's most successful coach, a record of trophies, player development and packed stadiums. Why wouldn't Sydney make a move for the Hong Kong boss? Adelaide United are also keen - and you fancy the Reds job suiting him more. But seeing Merrick at Sydney, under the turned up noses of the media clique that did everything they could to run him down, would be hilarious!

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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