Squad: Taking on the league leaders

Ernie Merrick made good on a promise to play his younger brigade last weekend, and some of the Jets brightest young talent will now test themselves against the league leaders on Sunday.

While still leaning on an experienced core of players against the Glory, the likes of Joe Champness, Angus Thurgate and Ivan Vujica are in the frame for a tough test out west.

ACADEMY: Players of the Month awarded

VIDEO: Merrick talks Perth

They’ll be tasked with taking on a side chasing the Premiers Plate and Ernie Merrick is expecting a stern test from Perth.

“It will be a much more intense game,” Merrick said.

"We will stick with trying out the youngsters and giving them more game time, getting them used to the game plan and confident on the ball.

“It will be good for us, especially with some of the younger players having a bit more experience under their belt. To know what it is like to go to Perth and play against a team like the one Tony Popovic has put together.

Steven Ugarkovic
Steve Ugarkovic will have a big role to play this Sunday

Merrick expects Sunday to be won or lost in the middle of the park, and will be relying on the likes of Ben Kantarovski, Steven Ugarkovic and Matt Ridenton to play their part.

"To me, when you play against Perth, it's the battle for the midfield which is the difference. It was Diego Castro who caught us out last time,” Merrick added.

Newcastle Jets Squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 9.Roy O¹DONOVAN, 10.Ronald VARGAS, 11.Kwabena APPIAH, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matt RIDENTON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 11.Kwabena APPIAH (promoted), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (promoted)

Outs:

Unavailable: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (ankle ­– TBC)

The Jets will take on Perth Glory on Sunday 14 April, kick-off 7pm (AEST) at HBF Park.