Jets name 20-man squad for F3 Derby

The Newcastle Jets have named a 20-man squad for Saturday’s F3 Derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets have named a 20-man squad for Saturday-s F3 Derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium.

Marquee striker Emile Heskey has been named in the squad after missing last week-s 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar with a hip-flexor injury.

“He trained the whole session, so there-s no problem with Emile,” Jets head coach Gary van Egmond said.

“It was good that we rested him last week because we could have pushed him to play, but from the perspective of his longevity in the competition, we held him back and I-m glad we did."

Josh Mitchell also returns to the extended squad after recovering from a knee injury, while Scott Neville has recovered from a groin complaint that saw him miss the clash with Brisbane.

Central defender Taylor Regan did not complete Thursday-s training session due to a sore calf, but van Egmond was confident the injury wasn-t serious.

“Taylor had a bit of sore calf, so we didn-t risk him for (the rest of Thursday-s session), but our medical staff said he should be fine to train tomorrow so we-re just making sure he-s going to be alright,” van Egmond said.

“Sometimes you can get a bit of tightness in there and that can turn into a little grade one tear and it-s a seven to 10-dayer then, so we-re just hoping it settles down overnight and we-ll go from there.”

Jobe Wheelhouse returned from injury off the bench against Brisbane Roar last week, but van Egmond said he was undecided whether Wheelhouse would be promoted to the starting line-up for the clash with the Mariners.

“We had a little look at it (at training) with him in and out of the first XI. I thought both Josh Brillante and Ruben Zadkovich were very good (against Brisbane),” van Egmond said.

“It-s good to see Jobe getting more training minutes under his belt and obviously game minutes as well from last week.

“There-s a few things we will look to bed down by tomorrow and that will be one of them.”

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 2. Scott Neville, 4. Josh Mitchell, 7. James Brown 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Emile Heskey, 11. Connor Chapman, 12. Josh Brillante, 13. Sam Gallaway 14. Taylor Regan 15. Craig Goodwin, 16. Jobe Wheelhouse 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, Emile Heskey and Scott Neville (all returning from injury). Outs: Nil. Unavailable: Ben Kantarovski (knee), Dominik Ritter (hamstring).

Tickets are selling fast for the third F3 Derby of the season taking centre stage at Bluetongue Stadium this Saturday night. Any Members or fans planning to attend the game are encouraged to pre-purchase to avoid any disappointment or queues on the day. CLICK HERE for ticketing information.