Jets name 16-man squad for Heart clash

The Newcastle Jets have named a 16-man squad to face Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets have named a 16-man squad to face Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Friday night.

Jets head coach Gary van Egmond has made two changes to the squad that drew 1-1 with Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium last weekend.

Kew Jaliens returns from suspension, replacing Josh Mitchell, while Nick Ward has been added to the squad in place of Nathan Burns who has returned to Korea following the expiration of his loan deal with the Jets.

“Kew will come back in, but it will be a fairly similar squad,” van Egmond said.

“Obviously Nathan has gone so we need to add a little bit further up the park and we-re looking at a couple of solutions.

“We have young Goodwin obviously starting and there-s (James) Brown, (James) Virgili or maybe Ruben (Zadkovich) pushing further forward

“There-s a couple of options for us in that kind of area.

Van Egmond indicated that Michael Bridges will once again be used to give the Jets added attacking impetus off the bench towards the back end of the contest.

“As an impact player, I think Bridgey does a really good job,” van Egmond said.

“He comes on and gives us a little bit of something different and he-s been doing a good job of that.”

Van Egmond said the addition of Ward would give the Jets added versatility, most likely off the bench.

“He-s coming along very nicely, he hasn-t played a game for a long time so he-s probably not ready to be thrown into the deep end,” van Egmond said.

“He can play anywhere in the midfield and he gives you some versatility. He-s a good player who scores goals from midfield and that-s what you want.”

Van Egmond said new signing Joel Griffiths was still a couple of weeks away from returning to Hyundai A-League action.

“Joel won-t play this weekend, he-s not physically ready yet,” van Egmond said.

“He hasn-t done a great deal since the end of November. He-s been for a few runs and as we know he-s a pretty naturally fit bloke, but this week is just too much of a rush.

“The last thing we want is an injury and we won-t be risking him this weekend.

“He-s going to be working hard between now and next week and we-ll play it by ear whether he gets game time against the Coast or the week after.

“As a player you get more confidence when you have those types of players with you in the training group and obviously on the park with you on the weekend.

“He-s a winner, he-s got a good mentality and he scores goals and that-s exactly what we need.”

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Taylor REGAN, 4. Kew JALIENS, 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 9. Emile HESKEY, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 13. Joey GIBBS, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 17, James VIRGILI, 18. James BROWN, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk).

Ins: 4. Kew JALIENS (returns from suspension), 27. Nick WARD (promoted)

Outs: 10. Nathan BURNS (loan deal has ended), 14. Josh MITCHELL.

Unavailable: 2. Scott NEVILLE (knee injury - long term), 7. Andrew HOOLE (international duty), 12. Connor CHAPMAN (international duty), 15. Josh BRILLANTE (international duty) 22. Adam TAGGART (international duty), 25. Mitch COOPER (knee injury - long term).