Newcastle Jets boss Mark Jones has added three players to his preliminary squad to tackle competition heavyweights Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday.
Last Sunday the Jets drew 1-1 with Central Coast Mariners in the F3 Derby at McDonald Jones Stadium, however Aleksandr Kokko (jaw) and Andrew Nabbout (ankle) suffered injuries in the stalemate.
In response to the two fresh injury frustrations in his squad Jones has promoted experienced attacker Labinot Haliti, winger Andy Brennan, plus left sided defender Ivan Vujica to his preliminary roster to face Kevin Muscat’s men at 5:35pm on Saturday.
Ben Kantarovski will level Tarek Elrich on 134 Hyundai A-League games for the Club --- the most of any Jet --- if he sees game time at the weekend. Kantarovski would then have the opportunity to break Elrich’s mark when Newcastle returns home on Sunday 4 December to battle Sydney FC.
Newcastle’s record in Melbourne against the Victory since the Hyundai A-League inception is credible --- in the 17 matches played between the two sides in the Victorian capital the Jets have won six (6) times, Victory eight (8), while there has been three (3) draws.
Iain Fyfe became the 145th player to represent Newcastle in the Hyundai A-League when he started against Mariners last Sunday, while Ma Leilei became the 146th when he entered the fray as a substitute for Devante Clut late on.
The Jets will need to keep an eye on dangerous New Zealand international Marco Rojas in this Saturday’s clash --- the diminutive Kiwi has scored four (4) goals and provided two (2) assists in his last two (2) apperarances against Newcastle.
Newcastle Jets Squad vs. Melbourne Victory: 3. Jason HOFFMAN, 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 10. Wayne BROWN (C), 11. Labinot HALITI, 12. Andy BRENNAN, 13. Ivan VUJICA, 16. Nicholas COWBURN, 18. MA Leilei, 19. Morten NORDSTRAND, 20. Jack DUNCAN (gk), 23. Devante CLUT, 26. Iain FYFE, 28. John KOUTROUMBIS, 30. Pierce CLARK (gk)
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 11. Labinot HALITI (promoted), 12. Andy BRENNAN (promoted), 13. Ivan VUJICA (promoted)
Outs: 9. Aleksandr KOKKO (jaw - 3-4 weeks), 15. Andrew NABBOUT (ankle - 2-4 weeks)
Unavailable: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles - season), 2. Daniel MULLEN (knee - 3-4 weeks), 4. Nigel BOOGAARD (ankle - 5 weeks), 9. Aleksandr KOKKO (jaw - 3-4 weeks), 15. Andrew NABBOUT (ankle - 2-4 weeks), 21. Daniel ALESSI (knee - season), 22. Lachlan JACKSON (ankle - 3-4 weeks)