A senior debut could be on the cards for another of the talented Kantarovski brothers this weekend, with Michael Kantarovski, younger brother of Ben, called into the Newcastle Jets squad to face Western Sydney Wanderers.Jets boss Phil Stubbins told local media following Friday’s final training session before the clash against Tony Popovic’s team that M. Kantarovski would be part of the party travelling south-west from the Hunter on Saturday to challenge the reigning Asian Champions.
M. Kantarovski has been part of James Pascoe’s Foxtel National Youth League (NYL) program for the past three years, and Stubbins said the 19-year-old midfielder had impressed significantly over the past few weeks and enough to earn a chance for himself at the Hyundai A-League level.
“It’s a very clear possibility,” Stubbins said when asked if M. Kantarovski could take to the field alongside his brother Ben in the Newcastle engine room. “They’re obviously a good footballing family and come from good stock, and Michael has grown into athletically a very sound specimen.”
“Michael is a kid that has progressed. I had a chat to him yesterday in terms of giving him a pat on the back and telling him that he’s improved quite dramatically over the course of the last four to six weeks.”
“He’s got a good touch [and] technically he’s pretty good.”
“Will they [Ben & Michael] get on the pitch together? If they do I think it will be a good period for the Club to have two brother playing together,” Stubbins said.
Naturally the addition of M. Kantarovski to the matchday squad means the omission of another player, and on Saturday Zenon Caravella will be that man.
The tireless Caravella has had a limited training load this week due to tightness in his hamstrings, and won’t be risked at Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium.
Stubbins admitted Caravella’s experience and work ethic would be missed against Wanderers, though the former Bangkok Glass boss is delighted that he will be able to call on the services of the tough Taylor Regan in defence.
“Zenon’s the guy that’s going to vacate that position and there is a lot of hard work and toil that goes into the role that he’s provided for us,” Stubbins said.
“Taylor’s obviously had a week where we’ve tempered his training loads and everything else, but he’s trained this morning and he’ll travel with the party tomorrow.”
“It’s a really good thing [to have Regan available]. He’s been one of the players that’s helped us, and a person who had got on the front foot in his own personal way and done things in a very good fashion and manner for the team and the Club, and hopefully he can have a fantastic game tomorrow.”
Match: Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Newcastle Jets – Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 22
Date: Saturday 21 March 2015
Venue: Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Television: Live on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio: Live on ABC Grandstand & 1233 ABC Newcastle
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #WSWvNEW @NewcastleJetsFC