Milos Trifunovic at Jets training on Thursday. Picture: Max-Mason Hubers​THEY arrived in Newcastle with high hopes and, in some cases, illustrious reputations.
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But can Serbian import Milos Trifunovic succeed where the likes of Emile Heskey, Mario Jardel, Michael Bridges, Francis Jeffers, Edmundo Zura and Edson Montaño failed and provide the Jets with a goal haul in double figures this season?

In the 10 seasons since the A-League’s inception, only two Newcastle players, Joel Griffiths and Adam Taggart, have scored 10 or more goals in a campaign.

Griffiths found the net 14 times in the championship-winning 2007-08 season, and Taggart scored 16 in 2013-14. Both were Golden Boot winners.

The best single-season return from an overseas player was Heskey’s nine-goal tally in 2012-13.

Trifunovic, who trained for the first time with his Newcastle teammates on Sunday, has scored 97 goals in a 327-game professional career at clubs in Serbia, Sweden, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and China.

Jets coach Scott Miller accepts that for his team to challenge for the play-offs they must dramatically improve their firepower up front.

Last season’s wooden-spooners scored only 23 goals in 27 games, the fewest in the A-League and 19 behind sixth-placed Brisbane.

‘‘If you look at the statistics from that, driven from there, you’d probably want him to score at least 10 to 15,’’ Miller said of his new recruit.

‘‘Now, that’s not my ambition for him. He’ll set his own targets.

‘‘But if we want to achieve our ambition, we need a lot of people pitching in, not only Milos.’’

Speaking with teammate Mateo Poljak acting as interpreter, Trifunovic was on the same wavelength as his new coach.

‘‘He doesn’t want to talk about himself,’’ Poljak said.

‘‘He wants to leave it on the pitch for everyone else to judge.

‘‘But probably the biggest point is he’s an 18-yard box player, and so far wherever he’s played he delivered 10 to 15 goals, so that’s probably his main target this year.’’

Asked if 15 goals was realistic, Poljak replied, on behalf of Trifunovic: ‘‘Obviously you can’t know what’s going to happen, but he can promise that he’s going to work hard.

‘‘He believes that he can score goals. What number that’s going to be, obviously, he can’t know before the season.’’

The 30-year-old had a brief training session with the rest of Newcastle’s players on Thursday before individual shuttle runs with conditioning staff.

‘‘The initial response was good,’’ Miller said.

‘‘It was obviously a limited session for him, but he’s looking well, he’s physically fit, and he actually did some conditioning as well, which he came through very positively … Milos is right down the track of where we want him.

‘‘It’s now more about training with the team daily, to understand the principles.

‘‘Physically he’s there, mentally he’s there, but it’s a case of knowing how we want to play.’’

While Trifunovic speaks limited English, several Jets players can speak Serbian, so Miller said the language barrier would not be a problem.

‘‘The first thing we did this morning was a three v one session, which was highly technical,’’ Miller said.

‘‘He took it on board straight away.’’

Miller said after extensive research and references he established that Trifunovic was ‘‘very dynamic’’ in front of goal and capable of succeeding in the A-League.

He was hopeful of giving him some game time in an intra-club hit-out at Magic Park, Broadmeadow, on Saturday.

‘‘I’d like to include him in that at some part,’’ Miller said.

‘‘Whether or not it’s 45 minutes or at least 30 minutes, I think fans would like to see him, as well as his teammates.’’

The Jets still face a race against time to ensure their target man has his paperwork processed for the round-one game against the Phoenix in Wellington on October 11.

‘‘I’m preparing him as if he’s available,’’ Miller said.

‘‘I know the New Zealand issue is obviously an issue, [because of] where he’s from, and [football manager] Nick DeLuca is in Sydney today working on that as we speak.’’

● The Jets have announced a new jersey sponsor in global smartphone and tablet brand Alcatel OneTouch, whose logo will feature on the back of their away jerseys this season.