Jets name 18-man squad to face Sydney FC

The Newcastle Jets have named an 18-man squad for Saturday’s clash with Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium.

The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets have named an 18-man squad for Saturday-s clash with Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium.

Striker Joel Griffiths has been included in the squad after serving a two-match suspension, while Jets interim head coach Clayton Zane also indicated Socceroo David Carney will be available to make his Jets debut against his former Club.

“David Carney is available for selection this week. It was always the plan that the Sydney match would be the one that we pencilled him in for,” Zane said.

“Carney is definitely one for off the bench… I also think that Joel Griffiths hasn-t got a full 90 minutes under his belt yet, so they-re two players that we still need to manage, but they-re two that are available for selection.

“If Joel was required to start, he-s definitely available to do so. He-s probably a couple of weeks ahead of Carney, so he is one we can use for a longer period throughout the match.

“Joel has looked excellent in training, from day one and he-s only got better and I-m sure everyone is waiting in anticipation to see the best of Joel Griffiths for the back end of the season.”

Kew Jaliens will miss the clash through suspension, with central defender Taylor Regan in the frame to fill the void left by the former Dutch international after recovering from a corked thigh that kept him out of the Jets- win over Brisbane Roar last weekend.

Zane said he would finalise the make up of his match day squad following the Jets- final training run at Hunter Stadium tomorrow morning.

“I-ve been pretty faithful in terms of the selection, I-ve tried to maintain a pretty solid squad where we don-t make too many changes unless they-re forced, but at the same time I need to explore other options as well to see what is the best fit to play Sydney,” Zane said.

“On the back of a good win against Brisbane it becomes more of a tactical viewpoint from me about how I fill the bench and what type of balance we need on the bench.”

One dilemma Zane faces is deciding whether to reinstate Andrew Hoole to the starting line-up after he served a one-match suspension last weekend, or stick with James Virgili on the right wing after he performed strongly in Hoole-s absence against the Roar.

“Virgili obviously came in and did a great job against Brisbane, but if you look back a couple of weeks ago, Hoole was magnificent against Central Coast.

“It is another headache, but it-s a good headache as well.”

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3. Taylor REGAN, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 9. Emile HESKEY, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 13. Joey GIBBS, 14. Josh MITCHELL, 15. Josh BRILLANTE, 17. James VIRGILI, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22. Adam TAGGART, 23. David CARNEY, 24. Mitch OXBORROW, 29. Joel GRIFFITHS.

Ins: 3. Taylor REGAN (returns from injury), 7. Andrew HOOLE (returns from suspension), 23. David CARNEY (promoted), 29. Joel Griffiths (returns from suspension).

Outs: 4. Kew JALIENS (suspended), 18. Jacob PEPPER (knee injury - short term).

Unavailable: 2. Scott NEVILLE (knee injury - long term) 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee - short term), 25. Mitch COOPER (knee injury - long term), 27. Nick WARD (knee injury - short term).

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Saturday, February 22 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets available from PROticket.