The Newcastle Jets have named an extended 18-man squad for Saturday’s clash with Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets have named an extended 18-man squad for Saturday-s clash with Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium.
Former Dutch international Kew Jaliens has been included in the squad after recovering from hamstring tightness, which saw him miss last weekend-s 1-0 loss to Adelaide United.
“It will be nice to have Kew-s leadership and his organisation back in the side,” Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said.
“He brings a lot of confidence to not just the boys at the back, but to the rest of the squad as well.”
Michael Bridges and James Virgili have also been added to the extended squad, giving the Jets more options in the attacking third.
“It-s getting to the stage of the season where there-s quite a few games coming up pretty quickly so it might be a good opportunity to freshen things up a little bit in the front third and look at bringing in a couple of fresher players,” Deans said.
“Craig Goodwin has made a couple appearances off the bench and performed reasonably well, so that-s one option that we have there.
“We just need to keep working through it, because we-re having a little patch at the moment where we-re not so consistent and it-s hard work that gets you out of that.”
Deans said he expected marquee striker Emile Heskey to once again start on the bench as he steadily increases his match fitness following an injury lay-off.
“That was Emile-s first game back from that little niggle he picked up a few weeks ago,” Deans said.
“He got 25 minutes on the weekend against Adelaide, so it might have to be a couple more matches with that sort of game time because we have to make sure we-re careful not to push him too quickly.”
Nathan Burns recovered well after playing 90 minutes against his former Club last weekend in his first game back after a two-week layoff.
“Nathan got through a bit more of the game against Adelaide than we thought he might and I think he started to look like the player he was prior to the injury in the last 10 minutes,” Deans said.
“It-s good that he-s got that game under his belt and we-re looking forward to him getting better and better with each game.”
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Taylor REGAN, 4. Kew JALIENS, 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 9. Emile HESKEY, 10. Nathan BURNS, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 15. Josh BRILLANTE, 16. Jacob PEPPER, 17, James VIRGILI, 18. James BROWN, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 22. Adam TAGGART, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk).
Ins: 4. Kew JALIENS (returns from injury) 17. James VIRGILI (promoted), 19. Michael Bridges (promoted),
Outs: 14. Josh MITCHELL.
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory Saturday, January 4 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets available from PROticket.