English import Jared Cunniff has been an instant hit for Tatura in Regional Premier League since his arrival, in three games for the Iibises he has struck 10 goals.MATTHEW GALEA May 28, 2014 3:15am
With 10 goals from three games, it is fair to say Jared Cunniff’s impact on Regional Premier League has been instant.
The Tatura front man has wasted little time in getting among the goals since arriving from Southern Football League Division One Central club Rugby FC in England.
With five goals in 12 appearances for Rugby last season, Cunniff arrived with a solid CV.
It was no surprise Ibises coach Tom Black was keen to snatch him up when Goulburn Valley Suns striker Craig Carley gave Tatura the heads up about his availability.
‘‘I know Joel McCormick who played for Shepparton United last year and he put me in touch with Craig,’’ Cunniff, 22, said.
‘‘He put me through to Tatura and they gave me a call. It happened really quick and it was all done within two weeks.
‘‘I flew out and missed playoffs with Rugby Town, which they lost unfortunately, to get started with Tatura.’’
Cunniff’s Rugby side was six points ahead at the top of the table at one point of the season, but missed out on winning the title by one point.
It was a disappointing end to the season, but Cunniff said he already felt at home in his new surrounds.
Comfortable in either midfield or forward roles, Cunniff has been handed the task of leading the line for the Ibises this season, who have impressed this season under Black’s guidance.
The difference Cunniff has made to the Ibises was clearly demonstrated in his first game.
Coming off the back of a 6-0 mauling at the hands of United, Cunniff inspired Tatura to a 3-3 draw in a cracking match against Cobram, scoring twice on debut.
The Ibises haven’t looked back since and sit in fourth — six points ahead of fifth-placed Victory with a game in hand.
Cunniff scored seven goals in an 8-1 thrashing of Kyabram Phoenix and found the net for the third game running against Cobram Victory on Sunday, helping the Ibises to a 4-2 win.
‘‘I watched the United game and I thought they looked really strong,’’ Cunniff said.
‘‘The other games I’ve played in since, the standard’s been okay. I’m enjoying it.
‘‘Even Kyabram weren’t that bad. They just played a high line and pretty much all the goals were simple through balls I was able to get on to.’’
Cunniff has demonstrated good movement, blistering pace and a cool eye for goal in his first three games, and worryingly for the rest of the competition he could have had more than the 10 he’s already notched.
‘‘I missed a penalty against Victory and had a few one-on-ones as well, but as long as we’re winning and getting results, I’m happy,’’ Cunniff said.
‘‘The club’s been brilliant, they’ve made me feel at home and I’m really enjoying it.’’
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