Squad: Ernie names 17 for Sunday

Ernie Merrick has named a 17-man squad for the clash with Brisbane Roar this weekend.

Ronny Vargas has worked hard to prove his fitness, but has been unable to overcome a hip flexor issue which he picked up in the win over Western Sydney a fortnight ago.

Another player on the outs list is Lachlan Jackson, who reinjured a broken nose last weekend against Melbourne City. Due to respiratory issues resulting from that injury, he is also unavailable this weekend.

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Assistant coach, Clayton Zane indicated at Thursday’s press call that his absence would mean a recall to the starting XI for Ivan Vujica, in what he called a ‘like for like’ change.

The ins make interesting reading too, with both Jair and Kaine Sheppard overcoming injuries to be in a position to put their best foot forward for Sunday afternoon.

Ivan Vujica Brisbane Roar
Ivan Vujica looks like starting on Sunday.

Ronny’s absence could mean a call-up for one of the returning pair to the starting XI, but there’s also a chance that Angus Thurgate could earn a promotion.

Also back in the mix is Mitch Austin, who played 90 minutes for the youth team last weekend and has been looking sharp in training.

Newcastle Jets: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**one to be omitted**

Ins: 8.Jair (return from injury), 11.Mitch AUSTIN (promoted), 14.Kaine SHEPPARD (return from injury)

Outs: 10.Ronald VARGAS (injury – groin), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (injury – nose)

Unavailable: 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (suspension ­­­­­­– 2 rounds), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (foot ­–­­­ TBC)