Jets name 18-man squad for Victory clash

Gary van Egmond has named an 18-man squad for Friday night’s match against Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond has named an 18-man squad for Friday night-s match against Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium.

James Brown (ankle) and Scott Neville (groin) have not been named in the squad as they continue to recover from their respective injuries.

“Scott won-t play. He was touch and go for this week and we just thought he wasn-t worth the risk for one more week,” Jets head coach Gary van Egmond explained.

Van Egmond said the absence of Neville could mean some slight adjustments to the Jet-s backline.

“There-s a couple of options we have to look at with the fact that Scott won-t play this weekend in that fullback role, which then effects other positions.

“Taylor Regan can do a decent job as a fullback, but I wouldn-t call him a specialist fullback.

“He can play there, but obviously he-s more comfortable as a centre-back. We just have to weigh that up where we think they-re best going to be suited for the team.

“Josh Brillante came off the bench last week, but as a fullback he probably offers a little bit more than Taylor and is a bit more settled in that area.

“It might be a case that we look at Ben to come back into the midfield and maybe even play Ruben as a right fullback. We-ve got some choices to be made and between now and the game, we-ll get that sorted.”

Van Egmond said he was pleased with the depth of his squad and the number of selection options available to him.

“It-s good from our point of view that there-s good competition for places. Next week we-ve got Scott Neville and probably James Brown back as well, so that competition for places is going to be well and truly on,” he said.

Brazilian import Bernardo Ribeiro is one such player who is continuing to try and push his claims for selection.

“We-ve played with Ryan as a half-midfielder, half-striker, but If you play Bernardo he-s definitely an out and out number 10,” van Egmond said.

“We-ve played him in a wide area and he-s OK there, but he-s probably best as a number 10.

“At the moment, the positioning in the midfield is a little bit difficult for him, but we-re still working through it and we actually had a discussion with him this morning about it.

“He-s doing well, his effort is good, his attitude is fine. It-s just a case of what-s going to be best for the game we-re playing this weekend whether he-s starting or coming off the bench.”

Jets forward Ryan Griffiths sat out Wednesday-s training session at Ray Watt Oval with a sore neck, but the injury is not serious and he will be available for the fixture against Melbourne.

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Tiago CALVANO, 4. Josh MITCHELL, 5. Dominik RITTER, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9. Emile HESKEY, 10. Bernardo RIBEIRO, 12. Josh BRILLANTE, 14. Taylor REGAN, 15. Craig GOODWIN, 16. Jobe WHEELHOUSE (c), 17. James VIRGILI, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 22. Adam TAGGART, 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS, 30. Jack DUNCAN (gk).

In: Ribeiro, Bridges, Duncan Out: - Unavailable: James Brown (ankle), Scott Neville (groin)

Match details: Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory Hunter Stadium Friday, October 26 Kick-off 7.30pm (Gates open 6.30pm) Tickets available from PROticket.