The Newcastle Jets have named an extended 19-man squad for Saturday’s crucial showdown with Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets have named an extended 19-man squad for Saturday-s crucial Round 19 showdown with Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium.
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Head coach Gary van Egmond said he was pleased to see Ruben Zadkovich and Josh Mitchell return to the squad after the pair were suspended for the Jets- 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium last week.
“We really welcome the fact that Ruben and Josh are back into the squad this week and the fact that we are getting good competition for places with adding Zenon (Caravella) into the squad,” van Egmond said.
“From a coaching perspective to have limited suspensions at the moment and minimal injuries apart from Ben Kantarovski and Dominik Ritter, is a good space to be in.”
The Jets will be without left-back Sam Gallaway who was sent off against the Phoenix after receiving two yellow cards and will serve a mandatory one-match ban this weekend.
While disappointed to lose Gallaway for the Sydney match, van Egmond said he was confident the Jets would be able to cover for his absence.
“We-ve got some good depth in the fullbacks area,” van Egmond said.
“Craig Goodwin can play in that area, we can play Andrew Hoole there, Josh Mitchell can play in that area and so too can Josh Brillante as you saw on the weekend.”
Van Egmond said he would have to carefully manage the minutes of all the players in the Jets squad to ensure they aren-t hampered by fatigue following the short turnaround from last Sunday-s match against Wellington.
“It-s good to have competition for places, but we just have to look at players who have done really well, but they might be a little bit tired,” van Egmond said.
“That definitely applies for some of the younger ones, so we just have to manage them appropriately.
“Just looking at it today, you think to yourself that it might be a case that we do (rest players). I-ll speak to more individuals later and get a bit of a feeling to see where their heads are.”
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 2. Scott Neville, 3. Zenon Caravella, 4. Josh Mitchell, 7. James Brown, 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Emile Heskey, 11. Connor Chapman, 12. Josh Brillante, 14. Taylor Regan, 15. Craig Goodwin, 17. James Virgili, 18. Jacob Pepper, 19. Michael Bridges, 20. Mark Birighitti (gk), 22. Adam Taggart, 23. Ryan Griffiths, 25. Mitch Cooper, 26. Andrew Hoole.
Ins: Josh Mitchell (returns from suspension), Ruben Zadkovich (returns from suspension), Ben Kennedy (returns from injury), Andrew Hoole, Jacob Pepper, Michael Bridges, Mitch Cooper (all elevated). Outs: Sam Gallaway (suspended), Jobe Wheelhouse (released), Jack Duncan (National Youth League). Unavailable: Ben Kantarovski (knee), Dominik Ritter (hamstring).
Jets fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to secure the best seats for Saturday-s blockbuster clash.
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Saturday, February 2 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets from PROticket
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