Wheelhouse ready for Coast challenge

Midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse recalls fond memories of taking on Gold Coast United in the past.

Last season, Jobe Wheelhouse scored one of the goals of the year against Gold Coast United.

His stunning right-footed volley from 30-yards has been played on highlight reels time and again since it took place on December 13, 2009. And with the Jets- playing stocks thinning due to a string of injuries, no doubt the central midfielder is hoping to reproduce similar heroics at Skilled Park this Saturday night.

“Obviously the likes of Benny Kantarovski has been out for while, and now Kasey (Wehrman) and Ruben (Zadkovich) are out as well.”

“But I believe we can get the result up there, that-s what we-re there to do, so if that means more responsibility on me then I-ll relish it,” the Toronto-product said after Thursday morning-s training session.

The 25-year-old will lead an unfamiliar looking Newcastle midfield this weekend, with Wehrman succumbing to an ankle injury in last Sunday-s clash with the Central Coast Mariners, and Zadkovich being ruled out this week with a knee complaint that could see him miss the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.

But, in a timely boost, the Hunter side has welcomed back New Zealand international Jeremy Brockie from a foot injury and left-back Adam D-Apuzzo has at least returned to the training pitch as he shakes off an ankle knock he picked up against North Queensland Fury a fortnight ago.

For Wheelhouse, though, the prospect of coming up against the fourth-placed side in order to entrench the Jets back into the top six is motivation enough.

“I always like to rise to the occasion when we-re playing the better teams as well, and Gold Coast are definitely one of the better teams in the league.”

“They-ve got a couple of good players coming back like (Shane) Smeltz, and although (Jason) Culina-s out they-ve still got a really good side on paper.”

“We-ve just got to go out there and do our jobs and hopefully we can do well enough to get a result.”

“We-re under no illusions, we know it-s going to be hard but we just need to go there with the right frame of mind and get some points,” Wheelhouse said.

After enduring this recent horror stretch of injuries, the Jets have turned to their National Youth League side for inspiration, with a number of keen youngsters, including James Virgili, Mario Simic and Jacob Pepper, ready to inject some vibrancy and enthusiasm into the squad.

“The young boys have had the opportunity to step up at training this week and some of them have done quite well.”

“Hopefully when they get their chance they-ll take it with both hands, I know when I was that young, when I was 17 I took my shot with both hands.”

“So we-ve got all faith in them coming in and doing a job,” said Wheelhouse.

Meanwhile, the Gold Coast picked up a point away to Melbourne Heart on Wednesday night with a 1-all draw, and Miron Bleiberg-s men will be looking to maintain their recent form at home, as they are unbeaten at Robina since December 1, 2010.

Match Details:

Gold Coast United vs. Newcastle Jets Saturday, 22 January 2011 Skilled Park Local kick-off: 8:15pm (9:15pm AEDT) Referee: Matthew Breeze Assistant referee: Ashley Beecham and Brad Hobson Fourth official: Alan Milliner

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD & Sky Sports 3 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 1233 ABC Newcastle.

Gold Coast United: 1.Glen MOSS [gk], 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE (c), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.ANDERSON, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bruce DJITE, 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 16.Kristian REES, 19.Andrew BARISIC, 21.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 22.Adama TRAORE, 24.John CURTIS, 25.Chris BROADFOOT, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 27.Chris HAROLD, 29.Zac ANDERSON, 30,Jerrad TYSON [gk], 33.Peter PERCHTOLD. *five to be omitted*

In: Steve PANTELIDIS (return from facial injury), ANDERSON (promoted), Chris BROADFOOT (promoted), Ben HALLORAN (promoted), Chris HAROLD (promoted). Out: Nil Unavailable: Jason CULINA (international duty), ROBSON (hamstring injury - 7 weeks), Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury - indefinite), Matt OSMAN (knee injury - indefinite).

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Taylor REGAN, 4. Nikolai TOPOR STANLEY (c), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Sasho PETROVSKI, 14. Labinot HALITI, 16. Jeremy BROCKIE, 17. Marcello FIORENTINI, 18. Marko JESIC, 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS, 25. Samuel GALLAWAY, 26. James VIRGILI, 28. Mario SIMIC, 31. Jacob PEPPER, 40. Matthew NASH *one to be omitted*

In: Samuel GALLAWAY, MARIO SIMIC, Jacob PEPPER (all promoted from NYL) Out: Nil Unavailable: Neil YOUNG (Illness - indefinite), Michael BRIDGES (knee - six weeks), Sean ROONEY (knee - season), Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee - season), Kaz PATAFTA (groin - one week), Brodie MOOY (compartment syndrome - season), Adam D'APUZZO (ankle - one week), Kasey WEHRMAN (Foot - four weeks), Ruben ZADKOVICH (knee - three weeks), Ali ABBAS (groin - one week), Zhang SHUO (Not selected)

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 6): Gold Coast United wins 2, Newcastle Jets wins 3 (1 draw)