The #F3Derby squad for Saturday is in, and there’s been a couple of forced outs but a few welcome ins for Ernie Merrick’s side this weekend.
An Australia representative trio of Ivan Vujica, Joey Champness, and Johnny Koutroumbis are all out for the weekend given they’re currently in Cambodia with the U/23 national team.
Ben Kantarovski will also miss out this weekend, after straining his calf in training last week but he’ll be fit and firing against the Phoenix on March 30.
One man who will be ready to go this weekend is Kwabena Appiah, in line for his first appearance in Jets colours – against his former club, no less.
He’s joined on the ins list by Kosta Petratos and Pat Langlois, both promoted, but the biggest name on that list for Jets fans is Ronny Vargas.
Sidelined since the Jets defeat to Kashima Antlers in Japan back in late February, Ernie Merrick is giving the Venezuelan ‘every chance’ to prove his fitness and play a part on Saturday.
Another man who Merrick is looking for big things from is Lachlan Jackson, who is likely to come into a fullback role with the absence of Johnny Koutroumbis.
“Lachy has been playing really well, and every time he’s come in he’s done a good job for us,” Merrick said, speaking with media on Wednesday.
“Being a centre-back, he can only play at full-back because of his enormous pace. H’s not going to be beaten by pace, and he’s learning the position.
“Obviously he’s not going to play like Daniel Georgievski, who gets forward all the time. He will get forward, but probably not as much.”
Newcastle Jets FC: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Ronald VARGAS, 11.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matt RIDENTON, 28.Pat LANGLOIS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
*two to be omitted*
Ins: 10.Ronald VARGAS (return from injury), 11.Kwabena APPIAH (promoted), 19.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted), 28.Pat LANGLOIS (promoted)
Outs: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (calf – 1 week), 13.Ivan VUJICA (national duty), 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (national duty), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (national duty)
Unavailable: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (ankle – TBC)