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Points are precious

Chomba Arop is delighted to be back after 16 months out through injury.

CHOMBA Arop is not interested in personal milestones – only NPL points.

“My goals are just to try and do as much as I can to help the team,” he said, ahead of tomorrow’s derby clash against Brisbane Strikers at Wolter Park (7pm).

“It doesn’t matter if I get one goal or 10, my aim is just to help us try and make the top four.”

The 25 year old’s return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, was timely with forwards Matt Heath injured and Declan Smith helping in central defence.

When Chomba came on as a substitute in Jets’ 2-1 win at Brisbane Roar on September 6, it ended 16 months on the sidelines.

And when he latched onto a through ball and chipped the keeper at Sunshine Coast Wanderers two weeks later it was Chomba’s first NPL goal in 17 months.

But striker said: “I’m not there yet, only about 80-85 per cent fit, but I am working my way back. It’s probably adrenaline keeping me going at the moment because we’ve needed the wins.”

After ninth-placed Strikers, Jets, who are sixth, face a tough double header against both last season’s grand finalists just four days apart.

Chomba battling for possession against Gold Coast Knights last season, before his injury.

They travel to second-placed Olympic on October 7, kick-off 7.30pm and host Gold Coast Knights, who are fourth, on October 10, at 7pm.

“It’s never easy in this competition, but we’re in great form,” said Chomba, who joined Jets’ junior in 2013, the first year of NPL Queensland.

“We just need to keep going as we and try to get every point there is. I reckon we could make the top four if we keep going as we are now.”

Chomba admits he is a little surprised by the speed of his return. “It has been quite quick and very easy to fit back in with such a good team and group of guys here,” he said, “with COVID I only missed about 10 games this season.

He is also playing a “more physical number nine role” now, rather than using his pace out wide. “I’m looking to bring other players into play because of my size and the I’ve put on (about 10kgs) …. which is a good thing,” he said.

“Getting that goal (at Wanderers) was good and needed. At (Peninsula) Power I could have had at least two goals, so the one I did score was good for confidence and showed the hard work (in training) has paid off.”

Jets Under 20s, who are fifth in their league, face Strikers under 20s at 5pm, five points off the lead but 10 ahead of their opponents.

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