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In the lead up to the 2013-14 season, join us as we count down the best 15 players in the A-League, as voted for by Goal and Sportal.com.au journalists and writers.

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His signing may have been overshadowed by the arrival of Alessandro Del Piero, but Heskey's record in England and solid - if slightly unspectacular - first season in Australia saw him win inclusion at no. 13 in our countdown.

The 35-year-old former England striker scored nine goals for the Newcastle Jets in his debut A-League campaign before signing on for another year in April.

Emile Heskey

 
Club Games Goals
Newcastle Jets [2012-]
23
9

Heskey may be an old-fashioned centre-forward but his ability to lead the line and bring his team-mates into the game is something the Jets need to exploit.

All of Heskey's goals for the Jets came from inside the area as he used his strength and guile to cause problems for opposition teams in the penalty box.

The former Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa striker has never been a prolific scorer.

His performances at Leicester led to a move to Liverpool, for whom he scored 14 league goals during the 2000-01 Premier League campaign.

That has been the most prolific season of his career, but if the Jets can click in the attacking third and Heskey stays fit, he should manage more than his nine-goal first season.

A knee injury will see Heskey miss the start of the campaign but when he returns, he should enjoy being on the end of passes from Nathan Burns, James Brown, James Virgili and Adam Taggart.

Strengths

Physical strength, guile and experience. It came as no surprise that Heskey's nine strikes of 2012-13 were inside the area, several with his back to goal as he positioned himself well and proved to be a step ahead of central defenders. Outside the area, Heskey can draw fouls or bring wingers into the match, and also has the ability to drag defenders out of position.

Defining moment

Just 15 minutes after Del Piero had curled in a stunning free-kick to put Sydney on level terms against Newcastle in October 2012, Heskey scored his first ever goal in Jets colours. It may have been far less spectacular but it was still effective. Even with three Sky Blues defenders on hand to track him in the area, Heskey got to a Ryan Griffiths cross first and volleyed past a helpless Ivan Necevski, sending the Jets on their way to a 3-2 win.

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