Jason Hoffman may have wondered where his place would be in this new-look Newcastle Jets side at the beginning of the season.

The local boy was carrying yet another niggling injury that kept him out of the first few weeks and on top of that faced new and improved competition at right-back in Daniel Georgievski who boasts UEFA Champions League and A-League experience.

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No one could have foreseen just where the season has gone for Hoffman and simply how vital he has been in keeping the Jets near the top of the ladder.

He found his way into the side early on after Georgievski picked up a torn hamstring against Western Sydney Wanderers in round four. Since the Macedonian has returned and with an injury hit attacking line, Hoffman has been pushed into a much more advanced position.

Hoffman’s performances as a winger have improved as he slowly becomes accustomed to the new role and has proved his attacking worth contributing three goals in his last five appearances – the latest a winner against Brisbane Roar last night.

Coach Ernie Merrick was happy enough to pat himself on the back for bringing the best out of the Novocastrian who has more than repaid the faith put in him by the gaffer.

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“As a coach you have to assess somebody’s capabilities so I’ve just moved him around a bit,” Merrick said.

The role is not completely foreign to Hoffman however who has played there in the past albeit a while ago.

“He’s a great athlete and is great at running forward with purpose. He knows how to get in the box because he was an attacker when he was a youngster,” Merrick said.

“He gets forward and back and covers a lot of ground and he scored a terrific goal and was unlucky not to get two actually.”

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As the Jets key attacking players begin to return from injury and others are introduced in the case of new signings Patricio Rodriguez and Riley McGree it will be interesting to see how Hoffman is utilised.

Being able to play as a utility all over the park may prove vital in plugging any gaps that may reappear through injury or otherwise.

Undoubtedly Hoffman still has a big part to play but however the season plays out from here his contributions all over the pitch for his home town club should see them qualify for the finals for the first time in eight years and who knows what after that.

You couldn’t really ask for much more.

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Living and studying in Newcastle. Pretty obsessed with football. Newcastle Jets and Chelsea FC fan