With this season dead and buried, the Newcastle Jets have turned their attention to next and have targeted scorpion king Riley McGree for a second coming to McDonald Jones Stadium.
The attacking midfielder, whose classic scorpion goal in last season’s finals series against Melbourne City helped the Jets reach the decider, has been named high on the club’s wanted list by football operations chief Joel Griffiths.
The 20-year-old’s season-long loan at Melbourne City is set to expire, and Jets legend Griffiths is hoping that parent club Brugge - whom McGree joined on a four-year deal from Adelaide in 2017 - are open to him uniting with them again.
Be it on loan, or as a permanent signing, Griffiths believes he would again star in the Hunter.
Griffiths isn’t convinced that City have brought the best out of the Olyroos mainstay who has claimed four goals and three assists in 24 appearances, nine of which from off the bench.
“I’d love to get Riley back at the club ... he’s one person who really flourished here and I’m not sure he’s played as well in his time at Melbourne City, for whatever reason,” Griffiths said.
“He’s been in and out of the team which, for me, has been quite bizarre.
“It’s a tough one because he’s under contract with Brugge and it’s probably out of his hands too.
“I haven’t spoken to him about it but he’s a player I rate highly and I feel he will be a future Socceroo if he can find the right club environment.
“If I could have a wish list of signings he’d definitely be one of them.”
McGree scored five goals in 12 appearances for the Jets, leaving a deep impression at the club in just 882 match minutes.”
“I enjoy watching him play ... he’s one I’ve got a real soft spot for,” Griffiths said.
“First and foremost he’s a great boy, who the other players loved having around.
“On the field, he can drive a team forward.
“He’s been one of the better performers for City, in my view, and I just want him to do really well in his career wherever he plays.”