Incoming Perth Glory number one Jack Duncan is a mirror image of his predecessor Danny Vukovic, according to the club’s goalkeeping coach.
Perth-born Duncan, 20, is set to be thrust into the spotlight when struggling Glory travel to Wellington Phoenix this weekend following Vukovic’s exit for Graham Arnold’s Vegalta Sendai.
Vukovic had arguably been Glory’s player of the season prior to his loan move to Japan, forcing his way into Socceroos reckoning for the 2014 World Cup, so Duncan has big shoes to fill.
However, Glory’s goalkeeping coach Neil Young told FourFourTwo he has full faith in the Australia youth international who he said has plenty of similarities with Vukovic.
“The two working together is kind of like the before and after,” Young said. “Jack is eight years younger than Vuka, but watching them train, it’s like a mirror image.
“Vuka is a great goalkeeper to learn from. Jack listens and learns. He comes from good pedigree. He’s had the same upbringing as Vuka, having worked with (highly-respected Mariners goalkeeping coach) John Crawley.
“He wouldn’t be in the Australia under-age set-up if he wasn’t as good as he is.”
Young said he often got goosebumps working with the meticulous Duncan in training.
“He’s a kid who, when you ask him to do something, he tries it and thinks ‘that works’. You get goosebumps when you coach him,” Young said.
“He wants to always improve and try new things. He’s a smart kid, he studies physiotherapy and he does his own nutrition. He looks after his body.
“I wish there was more people like him, because he’s very easy to work with.”
Young backed Duncan to play out the season as Glory’s number one and said if he impressed he deserved to be given first crack next campaign too. He said Glory would look to sign a back-up keeper before the end of the season, but needed to scout their options first.
Duncan previously made his A-League debut as an 18-year-old for Newcastle Jets, thrown in at the deep end as a substitute after keeper Ben Kennedy was injured in a collision.
However, that was Duncan’s one and only A-League appearance at the Jets and he’s hungry for another chance.
“He’s a frustrated young goalkeeper,” Young said. “He had some opportunities at Newcastle but they were taken away from him by people being signed over the top of him.
“He’s raring to go. The kid deserves his opportunity to shine and show what he can actually do.”
Duncan admitted he was nervous but excited by the chance.
“This is exactly why I wanted to come here, with the hope that he (Vukovic) might want to move on to bigger things and I might get a chance,” Duncan said.
“It was a big move for me to make but I guess it’s paid off in a sense, now I’ve just got to try and do the job.”