Newcastle Jets boss Arthur Papas has backed striker Beka Mikeltadze to continue his encouraging start to life in the A-League Men.
Newcastle coach Arthur Papas believes prolific Georgian striker Beka Mikeltadze can go to another level after starring for the Jets in the A-League Men.
Jets' Beka Mikeltadze
- Georgian striker Beka Mikeltadze joined Newcastle Jets ahead of the 2021-22 season.
- The A-League side signed the Mikeltadze to a two-year deal.
- He is currently second in the league for goals scored, with seven on the season.
More A-League news can be found on FTBL.
Little known on arrival in Australia, Mikeltadze has seven goals in eight games for the Jets and will be crucial to their hopes of getting a result against second-placed Melbourne City on Friday.
"I'm pleased with Beka and I'm happy for Beka," Papas said.
"I believed that was the impact he was going to have and I think he can get better. We're talking about a striker who is 24 years old.
"He was extremely prolific in his first couple of seasons as a young player and that's the reference point.
"He captained his national team at youth level, played for the biggest team in his country (Dinamo Tbilisi) and scored goals at the age of 18.
"Careers go in different paths and I've got to know him over time and some moves didn't eventuate.
"But they were big moves - you don't sign with Rubin Kazan in Russia without some serious pedigree."
Papas said that while Mikeltadze's finishing was impressive he was most pleased by the striker's work rate off the ball.
"He's so focused and driven to do well in his career and he's all about the team and that's why, for us, he's become such an important player," Papas said.
"He's got a very complete style of play and he works hard for the team and understands how hard we need to work without the ball.
"He sacrifices himself at times if we get caught out.
"But he's also clinical when he gets his chances. He's got a lot to improve on but it's been a good start and I want to see it continue."
7âƒ£ goals in 8âƒ£ games 🔥— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) February 12, 2022
Beka Mikeltadze converts from the spot kick and gives @NewcastleJetsFC the lead at AAMI Park.
LIVE details: https://t.co/Nl6Vy12PKm#MVCvNEW #WeAreALeagues pic.twitter.com/GNabB64J5F
Papas' side currently sit in ninth spot but have two games in hand on most of the teams around them.
The Jets boss hopes to welcome back defender Matt Jurman from an ankle injury to face City after he sat out their win over Melbourne Victory.
"He's pulled up well," Papas added.
"He was a possibility against Victory but we'll make a decision late on because we know the following week there are another two games.
"We've got everyone available which is really pleasing."
The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.