Kennedy to start against Phoenix

Clayton Zane has revealed that Ben Kennedy will be the Jets’ starting goalkeeper for Saturday’s clash with Wellington Phoenix.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Clayton Zane has revealed that Ben Kennedy will be the Jets- starting goalkeeper for Saturday-s clash with Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium.

Zane said Kennedy had earned the starting role after impressing in training and National Youth League matches.

“Ben Kennedy will come into the starting team,” Zane said.

“He-s worked hard throughout the course of the year and I think now will be his time to hopefully stand up and shine.

“It-s a tough call to make, we have two number one keepers and that-s a very big dilemma for a head coach when that situation arises.

“I-ve seen very consistent training performances from Ben, I-ve seen a guy who has come back hungry to the youth team.”

The addition of experienced Englishman Michael Bridges is the only change to the Jets- extended 18-man squad to face Wellington.

Zane said he would finalise his match day squad on Friday.

“We-ve still got a meeting with the coaching staff to go through the final make-up of the squad,” Zane said.

“The goalkeepers was the biggest selection headache that we-ve had this week and we-ve got that out the way now.

“We-ll sit and look at the balance of the team and let the players know tomorrow the starting team.”

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4. Kew JALIENS, 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 9. Emile HESKEY, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 13. Joey GIBBS, 14. Josh MITCHELL, 15. Josh BRILLANTE, 19. Michael BRIDGES, 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 22. Adam TAGGART, 23. David CARNEY, 24. Mitch OXBORROW, 29. Joel GRIFFITHS.

Ins: 19. Michael BRIDGES (promoted).

Outs: Nil.

Unavailable: 2. Scott NEVILLE (knee injury - long term) 25. Mitch COOPER (knee injury - long term).

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix Saturday, March 22 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets available from PROticket.