GLEN Moss dived full-stretch high to his left – up where the spiders live – and got a strong hand to a Dimi Petratos peach.
The Jets midfielder and set-piece specialist was about to celebrate as the ball was parried away to safety.
Moss joked after training on Monday that Petratos had quipped “Mossy of five years ago would have caught it”.
At 34, Moss is anything but over the hill. If it was needed, the athleticism and desperation he produced at training, was evidence that the Kiwi international is not content to be a back-up for incumbent Jack Duncan.
“Jack was the best young keeper in the competition last year in a side that was under pressure for a lot of the season,” Moss said. “It is up to me to push him. It is good to have that competition for places. That is what you want if you want to be successful.”
That is the reason Moss uprooted his young family, wife Melissa, and children Ashton, 4, and Savanna, 1, from Wellington and joined the Jets.
“I had been offered another contract at Wellington,” he said. “I was weighing up whether to stay where I was happy and to continue and possibly end my career there. I felt I needed a new challenge. Newcastle was perfect for me. A club which has an ambitious owner and when Ernie came on board, I knew how he liked to work and I knew I would enjoy that style of football.”
Moss, who played 140 A-League games for Wellington over two playing stints, is in his second week at the Jets.
“There is a good culture here,” he said. “It is about turning that culture into a winning culture and giving the fans what they deserve; that is finals football.”
Moss’ off-season was spent preparing and participating in New Zealand’s Confederation Cup campaign where he was No.2 to to German-based young gun Stefan Marinovic.
Although the 29-times capped shot-stopper didn’t feature in losses to Russia (2-0), Mexico (2-1) and Portugal (4-0) he has returned full of “energy, experiences and stories”.
“The way those guys play – the passing, the movement, where they are physically – they are a step above,” he said. “Again that is why you look forward to those experiences, the challenges those countries present.”
Moss played the second half of the Jets’ 2-0 win over Weston after Jack Duncan felt a “twinge” and is likely to get at least 45 minutes in the hit out against Broadmeadow at Magic Park on Wednesday.
“The shout was ‘come along and watch Mossy’ and it was lucky I threw my boots and gloves in,” he said about the debut against Weston. “It was good to get out there and stretch the legs. I always have my hand up to play.”