First Jets goal helps Kitto moving forward

AWAY: Ryan Kitto takes off down the touchline against Wellington on Sunday. Picture: Max Mason-HubersRYAN Kitto’s first A-League goal against Wellington on Sunday typified the Jets’ hunger to break their scoring drought and his own determination to establish himself as a professional footballer.

Kitto motored through the middle of the park as Enver Alivodic released David Carney on a slick counter-attack then tucked away the rebound when Glen Moss parried Carney’s low shot.

It was his first goal sincejoining Newcastle in November from South Australian club West Torrens Birkalla, where he scored 17 times in 28 games last season.

“If we want to score, we’ve got to be in the box, and both Scott [Miller] and JP [de Marigny] have been onto us about making forward runs, and making the effort to get in the box,” Kitto told the Herald on Tuesday.

“It was definitely in the back of my mind as Carney was making that run and then shot.”

Kitto played 26 minutes across two bench appearances for Adelaide as a teenager in the 2013-14 season. The Reds released him at the end of last season, and hereturned to junior club West Torrens.The 21-year-old’s Jetscontract expires at the end of this season, but coach Miller has spoken glowingly of Kitto’s attitude.

“He’s been great since he’s come here,” Miller said after Sunday’sgame.“He’s been astute in his learning. What he’s learning now is to control his emotions and understand the game plan and execute it consistently.

“It must be a pleasing moment now, for a young guy sitting in the dressing room having scored his first A-League goal.I’m very proud of him and I’m sure it’s a great day for his family.”

ON THE BALL: Ryan Kitto controls the ball against Wellington on Sunday. Picture: Getty Images

Kitto has become a fixture in the first team since arriving, starting six matches out of nine, and said he wasslightly surprised to have received so much game time.

“I probably am, to be honest, but I’m loving the opportunity, the challenge . .and hopefully I can get some consistency into my game.”

He was deployed at left midfield in a 4-4-2 formation against the Phoenix and said the team had successfully implemented what they had worked on at training.

“My role was to make sure I was blocking passing lanes when we didn’t have the ball, and when we did have the ball making forward runs and making sure we’re supporting Milos [Trifunovic] and David Carney in getting as many numbers as we can forward,and get a quick transition to get some goals, and fortunately it worked.”

Kitto grew up in the McLaren Vale wine region of South Australiaplaying cricket in summer and both soccer and Australian rules in winter, often back-to-back on a Saturday.He is completing his Bachelor of Human Movement at the University of South Australia with a view to becoming a PE teacher, but his priority is playing well and securing another contract in Newcastle.

“I want to be a part of here. How much I’ve learnt already in my short time with Scott and JP.I know it’s the right environment for me. I feel I can continue to progress under them.”

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