Why Jayke looked back to the future

 

Jayke Cushieri in action for Jets during the 2015 semi-final victory over Olympic.


Jets' double helped sway Cushieri's decision

 

JAYKE Cushieri admits great memories of Jets’ double-winning season helped persuade him to return to Wolter Park.


Cushieri started last season at PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland rivals Brisbane City before joining Wolves, but played only a handful of games for each.


It was quite a contrast to 2015, when Jets won the NPL title and grand final, which Cushieri described as an enjoyable, “unreal year”.


“That was part of the reason I came back,” said the 22-year-old, “driving down from the Sunshine Coast would take me hour, but I was so pumped for training.


“The club’s got a feeling about it which I like and enjoy. Obviously the year we won the grand final Adam (Piddick) was there.


“He said he needed someone in the centre of the park this season to do a more defensive job so the more attacking players could utilise their strengths.


“I thought about it and its all working to plan at the moment.”


Cushieri, who was born in Malta, said he was a “bit of a Jack of all trades” with Jets two seasons ago having played “left back, right back and in the middle”.


He sees that versatility as a strength, but is now working to try and cement a spot in his new role.


“We have a young team, that’s still gelling as a group of players,” said the Maltese under 21 international, “we’re getting to know each others’ strengths and weaknesses, but come round one I think we’ll do quite well.


“I’m happy with my form so far considering I only played half a year last season. Fitness is the biggest thing at moment, playing under fatigue.


“Towards end last year didn’t play that much, it was six months off, but that fitness is slowly coming back.”

 

Jets face Brisbane City tonight at Richlands in their second Silver Boot Cup tie, kick-off 8.30pm.