Jets name 18-man squad for F3 Derby

The Newcastle Jets have named an 18-man squad for Saturday’s F3 Derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets have named an 18-man squad for Saturday-s F3 Derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium.

Interim head coach Clayton Zane has included Olyroos representatives Josh Brillante, Andrew Hoole and Adam Taggart in the extended quad after the trio returned from AFC U-22 Championships in Oman overnight.

“Having them back gives us a little bit more in terms of our options,” Zane said.

“We just need to have a little look at them over today and tomorrow and see if they-re ready to become part of the match day squad.

“I-ll look at each individual and what I-m trying to do from a tactical point of view and there-s definitely two or three of them I-ll look to include in the match day squad.

“The good thing is, we have someone like Nick Ward who made a very good claim to be part of the starting XI this week, so it gives us a little bit of choice.”

New signing Joel Griffiths was not included in the extended squad as he awaits his International Transfer Clearance from Chinese Club Qingdao Jonoon.

However, Zane did not rule out the possibility of using Griffiths against the Mariners should he be cleared to play in the next 48 hours.

“Hopefully we have all that sorted sooner rather than later,” Zane said.

“We-ll see tomorrow whether it-s been settled yet. At the moment it-s 50-50 whether we include him in the match day squad.

“I think he-s ready for limited match time, but probably not to start.

“The impressive thing for me today was seeing Joel hitting the back of the net. He-s still got a knack for that and his finishing was very good in the tactical work we did.”

Defensive midfielder Ben Kantarovski misses the match through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Melbourne Heart last weekend.

Zane indicated Michael Bridges will once again be used to provide an attacking spark as an impact player off the bench.

“Bridgey will start on the bench this week and we-ve had a good talk with him about trying to manage his role,” Zane said.

“There-s certain games he will be suited to but we can-t look too far ahead to know who is going to be involved on a week-to-week basis because of suspension and injuries.

“At the same time, he-s also let me know that it-s a transition for him from player to coach as well, so there-s two sides to it and he-s going to develop a little bit in that regard as well.

“We-ll use him when we see fit off the bench and I-m not going to be pressured into using him.

“He-ll be the first to say if it-s not the right decision for that match or if the timing is not right for the substitution to be made.”

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Taylor REGAN, 4. Kew JALIENS, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 9. Emile HESKEY, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 13. Joey GIBBS, 15. Josh BRILLANTE, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 17. James VIRGILI, 18. James BROWN, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22. Adam TAGGART, 27. Nick WARD (two to be omitted).

Ins: 7. Andrew HOOLE (returns from international duty), 15. Josh BRILLANTE (returns from international duty), 22. Adam TAGGART (returns from international duty).

Outs: 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI (suspension).

Unavailable: 2. Scott NEVILLE (knee injury - long term) 25. Mitch COOPER (knee injury - long term), 29. Joel GRIFFITHS (awaiting International Transfer Clearance).