A-League torment draws to a close as Wanderers look to fire
FOOTBALL: Jerrad Tyson's former mentor says he expects the Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper to prove his worth over the next few months.
The Coast export turned out for the biggest game of his young career last night when he took the field for Western Sydney - last year's A-League runner-up - in its Asian Champions League clash with Gizhou Renhe in China.
The game was Tyson's second start for the Wanderers in his two-year tenure the club.
The former Sunshine Coast Fire keeper has had a stop-start career at the elite level.
At Gold Coast United he had just begun to establish himself as an A-League quality keeper before the club folded. Thrown a lifeline by the Wanderers, he has had to toil behind Ante Covic.
While Tyson has struggled for game time, he kept a clean sheet in his club debut against Perth last month.
Coast-based Goalkeeping Australia Academy coach John Gorza says there is no doubt in his mind that Tyson, whose Western Sydney contract expire at the end of this season, is worthy of a first-choice keeper spot.
With five weeks of the A-League and three Asian Champions League group matches remaining this season - and Wanderers coach Tony Popovic likely to rest some of his troops - Gorza expects Tyson to receive game time over the coming months, and a chance to extend his contract or pique the interest of rival clubs.
"I really feel for him - he's spent two years at the Gold Coast, where he had to bide his time and finally made the first team and was outstanding in that season, only for the club to fold," Gorza said.
"He was in a position where he had to start all over again.
"It (Western Sydney) was a start-up club and a great place to be, but Ante has been very good over the last two seasons.
Jerrad has probably been unlucky that Ante hasn't been out injured more often.
"But with the Champions League and the pressure of midweek games and the A-League leading up to the finals, I expect Popovic will rest some of his players, which will give Jerrad a chance to compete."
NOOSA and Caloundra have progressed to the third round of the FFA Cup.
On Tuesday night, Caloundra defeated Kawana 2-0, and Noosa beat Woombye in a penalty shootout after they were locked at 4-4 after extra time.