Heskey fever takes over Down Under with Jets No 9 shirts sold out within a week
15:22 GMT, 27 September 2012
Newcastle Jets have already sold out their first batch of Emile Heskey replica shirts as the hysteria surrounding the striker’s transfer shows no sign of slowing down.
The A-League side revealed they have ordered 5,000 more Heskey No 9 strips to meet the incredible demand.
Heskey’s arrival comes a week after Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero signed for rival side Sydney FC.
Want one of these Emile Heskey's Jets shirts have sold out
Del Piero’s side reported that ticket sales for their opening game was ten times greater than last season and Heskey’s transfer looks like it has provided a similar boost to the Newcastle Jets.
Less than a week after the former England international’s arrival, more than 1,000 Jets fans have signed up as new members.
It is estimated that the club will have an 11,000-strong membership base by the time the season kicks off – 2,000 greater than last season.
The Jets coach, Gary van Egmond, told Foxsports he was excited about Heskey’s arrival and the impact that he would have on the club.
'It’s fantastic, he ticks all the boxes in a footballing sense with his ability and experience.
'From a commercial and marketing point of view, he's going to be a great fit.'
Fanatic support: Alessandro Del Piero has taken Australia by storm
Van Egmond was also hopeful that Heskey will be in good condition when he arrives in Australia on Friday.
'We are obviously all hoping he is going to be ready to go. From my understanding, he's been training at Wigan and has kept himself in really good nick.
'Everyone's hopeful it's all OK and he's in decent shape but as I say, we can't do anymore at this stage except wait until we see him in the flesh and then go from there.'
The club's Swiss defender Dominik Ritter was equally as excited and could not wait to play alongside his new teammate.
'When I came here, I didn't know much about Australian football,' he said.
'Then a couple of weeks ago, Del Piero signed [with Sydney FC] and everyone from Switzerland, my family and friends, all texted me saying how great it was.
'Now Emile Heskey is coming to play with me and my team. It's very, very exciting.'