ON RISE: Chris Payne trains with the Jets yesterday.ROOKIE striker Chris Payne has given Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond food for thought with a flood of goals in Newcastle’s youth team.
Payne’s double against the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra on Saturday gave him nine goals in six youth league games, including seven in his past three.
The 21-year-old arrived in Newcastle this season after stints with Sydney FC (19 games) and North Queensland (21 games) but is yet to make his A-League debut for the Jets.
That may not be the case for much longer after van Egmond confirmed yesterday he had noted the young target man’s form.
Van Egmond deployed Labinot Haliti, Jeremy Brockie and Ryan Griffiths as his starting strike force in last week’s 2-0 loss to the Mariners.
Francis Jeffers came on as a second-half replacement, and fellow English veteran Michael Bridges trained sharply yesterday to press his claims for some game time against his former club Sydney FC on Saturday night.
‘‘He’s been scoring some goals in the youth and he’s doing really, really well,’’ van Egmond said of Payne.
‘‘It’s great because in that area Labinot has done well, we obviously know the qualities Francis has, we’ve got Bridgey in that area and obviously Payney.
‘‘It’s great to have so many good strikers for that position.’’
Van Egmond said Olyroo Marko Jesic, who has been sidelined after surgery to remove an in-grown hair, was unlikely to be considered for a recall this week.
Defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley (hamstring) and midfielder Ruben Zadkovich (ankle) did not train with the team yesterday.
Van Egmond said Zadkovich would be ‘‘fine’’ to tackle Sydney but Topor-Stanley appears doubtful.
‘‘We just have to make sure he’s 100 per cent right,’’ van Egmond said.
‘‘He’s got a bit of an issue with his hammy, really high up.
‘‘We’ll just wait and see.’’