|By PADDY HIGGS
The Newcastle Jets' delegation to England to talk personally to Emile Heskey played a key part in his signing, the former England international revealed upon landing in Australia on Friday.
Heskey and his family touched down in Sydney early Friday morning local time, with the 34-year-old having penned a one-year marquee deal for the 2012-13 A-League season.
It is the striker's first move overseas in a notable career, which includes stints at English Premier League clubs Liverpool and Leicester City and 62 caps for his country.
He left Aston Villa after the 2011-12 season, having made 28 appearances for one goal in his final campaign at Villa Park.
"It was a bit of a long flight, but I'm finally here and I'm raring to go," Heskey told the club's website upon arrival.
"I've heard a lot about my teammates… Bridgey [former Leeds United and current Jets striker Michael Bridges] has told me quite a bit about the league and the team.
"I spoke to Robbie Fowler and he's told me a lot about the league and everything as well.
"I'm just raring to go really. I'm looking forward to meeting the lads, having a bit of a training run with them and seeing how things go."
Heskey said he had been training with former club Wigan and "should be OK" for the Jets' season opener against Adelaide United on October 7 at Hunter Stadium.
He also revealed the club's delegation, including Jets chief executive officer Robbie Middleby, to meet him in England was one of the factors in his signing.
"When Robbie flew that long flight over to see me and basically sell the club to me, it was a nice gesture from them," he said.
"Basically they just told me it was a family club. I started at Leicester [City] and it was a family run club. Everyone knows everyone, everyone works hard for each other and he just said it's the same thing [at Newcastle].
"It's like going back to the beginning, but somewhere else."