Gary van Egmond has named an extended 22-man squad for Saturday’s match against the Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond has named an extended 22-man squad for Saturday-s F3 Derby match against the Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium.
Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has been added to the squad after serving a one-week suspension for the red card he received in the season opener against Adelaide United.
Young Socceroos Josh Brillante, Connor Chapman and Adam Taggart will also join the squad after returning from their two match series against the Portugese under 20-s in Lisbon.
Head coach Gary van Egmond said a number of players are in contention to be selected in the final squad for Saturday-s game.
“We-ve got a few bumps and bruises from the weekend so we-ll still have to assess that,” he said.
“We-ve got good competition within the squad coming through to put pressure on people who played on the weekend.
“We-ve got the young ones coming back from Young Socceroos duty on Thursday morning, hence why we-ve named an extended squad.
“It will be a case of if the players coming back are the right ones to play, they-ll play, but the ones that have done the job on the weekend have definitely gone a long way to securing their job for this weekend.”
Scott Neville and Ben Kennedy are the only injury concerns heading into the clash.
“Scott Neville came off (in the game against Sydney) because of his groin so we-ll wait until Thursday or Friday to make a definite appraisal on him,” van Egmond explained.
“Ben Kennedy also has an injury. His knee is not 100% at this moment so he is getting some scans done. As we-ve stated before, he-s had an interrupted pre-season due to it.
“He may succumb to an operation, but as I said we-ll find out more about that in the coming days. It-s possibly a meniscus, which could be a four to six week job.”
Van Egmond said the injury to Kennedy may open the door for Mark Birighitti to bounce back after being sent off against the Reds in Round 1.
“I felt sorry for Mark, he really had an indifferent game in the first game and he was playing against his old Club as well,” van Egmond said.
“He-ll be looking to make that right and he might get his opportunity this week but again that-s depending on Ben Kennedy.”
Van Egmond said Young Socceroos trio Brillante, Chapman and Taggart are all a chance of featuring against the Mariners.
“It-s about looking at the balance of the squad for this weekend. With a doubt over Scott Neville we have a couple of options we need to look at and Josh Brillante can play as a fullback or play as a midfielder,” he said.
“Adam Taggart did a good job against Adelaide when he played and he-s done well over in Portugal and it looks like he-s got lots of confidence as is another one in with a chance of being in the squad.
“Connor Chapman has also been doing well. We-ll assess them to see how they are. The get in tomorrow morning and will train on Thursday afternoon, but we-ll make a more definite decision on Friday.”
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Scott NEVILLE, 3. Tiago CALVANO, 4. Josh MITCHELL, 5. Dominik RITTER, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9. Emile HESKEY, 10. Bernardo RIBEIRO, 11. Connor CHAPMAN 12. Josh BRILLANTE 14. Taylor REGAN, 15. Craig GOODWIN, 16. Jobe WHEELHOUSE (c), 17. James VIRGILI, 18. Jacob PEPPER, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI 21. Marko JESIC, 22. Adam TAGGART 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS, 30. Jack DUNCAN (gk).
In: Mark Birighitti, Josh Brillante, Connor Chapman, Adam Taggart. Out: None. Unavailable: James Brown (ankle).
Match Details: F3 Derby Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Hunter Stadium Saturday, October 20 Kick-off at 5.30pm (gates open 4.30pm) Tickets from PROticket
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