Jets name 18-man squad for F3 Derby

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

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

The Jets will be without captain Jobe Wheelhouse who sprained his medial collateral ligament at training on Tuesday. He will have scans in the coming days to fully determine the extent of the injury.

Tiago Calvano is also unavailable for selection due to a heel injury and he will join Ben Kantarovski (knee), Ben Kennedy (knee) and Mark Birighitti (cheekbone) on the sidelines.

First-team regulars Josh Mitchell and Ryan Griffiths will also be absent due to suspension, while Adam Taggart remains on Socceroos duty after making his national team debut against Hong Kong on Monday night.

Van Egmond said he had a number of options to replace the unavailable players.

“Josh Brillante, who came in for the last game, and Jacob Pepper look like the two obvious ones who can come in and replace Jobe at this stage,” he said.

“For us it-s good that we-ve got some depth, especially in the front third with both Craig Goodwin and James Virgili (able to replace Ryan Griffiths). Probably Craig is a little bit more favoured being a natural lefty replacing a lefty.

“At the back, we-ve got the option of bringing Dom (Ritter) into (central defence to replace Josh Mitchell), but we then get a bit skinny in the fullback area so more than likely we-ll just go with a straight swap for Taylor (Regan).”

Despite having a significant portion of his squad unavailable for the Mariners clash, van Egmond preferred to focus on the positives.

He said the absence of key players will give other members of the squad the opportunity to step-up and fill the void.

“Unfortunately, when it rains it pours, but the benefit is that we-ve got a good squad, good depth and some really good young players that are coming through,” he said.

“It gives those players and opportunity and what better opportunity do you want than an F3 Derby.”

Newcastle Jets squad: 2. Scott Neville, 5. Dominik Ritter, 7. James Brown, 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Emile Heskey, 10. Bernardo Ribeiro, 11. Connor Chapman, 12. Josh Brillante, 14. Taylor Regan, 15. Craig Goodwin, 17. James Virgili, 18. Jacob Pepper, 19. Michael Bridges, 21. Marko Jesic, 24. Mitch Oxborrow, 25. Mitch Cooper, 30. Jack Duncan (gk), 33. Matt Nash (gk).

Ins: Taylor Regan, Jacob Pepper, Michael Bridges, Marko Jesic, Mitch Oxborrow, Mitch Cooper. Outs: Ryan Griffiths, Josh Mitchell, Jobe Wheelhouse. Unavailable: Ben Kennedy (knee), Tiago Calvano (heel), Josh Mitchell (suspended), Ben Kantarovski (knee), Jobe Wheelhouse (knee) Mark Birighitti (cheekbone), Adam Taggart (Socceroos duty), Ryan Griffiths (suspended).

It is a double-header at Hunter Stadium this Saturday night. The Jets Youth team play the Central Coast Mariners Youth team prior to the A-League F3 Derby clash at 7.45pm.

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Saturday, December 8 Gates open: 4.50pm National Youth League kick-off: 5pm A-League kick-off: 7.45pm Venue: Hunter Stadium Tickets from PROticket

Limited parking will be available for purchase at the car park entrances on game days for the remainder of the Jets 2012/13 season. Whilst there will be parking available for purchase, Hunter Venues does encourage patrons to pre-purchase their parking tickets at a PROticket outlet or online at www.proticket.com.au as parking is subject to availability.