Dutchy welcomes returning young guns

Head coach Gary van Egmond has this week welcomed back four of his young stars back into the Newcastle Jets squad after they returned from a successful AFC U-19 Championships campaign in Saudi Arabia.

Head coach Gary van Egmond has this week welcomed back four of his young stars back into the Newcastle Jets squad after they returned from a successful AFC U-19 Championships campaign in Saudi Arabia.

The Jets- boss has named James Holland, Ben Kantarovski, Marko Jesic and Jason Naidovski in an extended squad which will head to New Zealand today to prepare for their enticing Hyundai A-League Round 12 clash against the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium this Sunday, 23 November.

Prior to their selection in the Qantas Young Socceroos squad late last month, Holland, Kantarovski and Jesic all started in the Jets- impressive 1-0 win over the league-leading Melbourne Victory, and van Egmond has immediately injected them back into the squad upon their return.

“Probably the best ninety minutes we-ve had so far this year was the game against Melbourne at home and three of those boys played in that game. The vibe is really good in the camp, with the young boys coming back it has really boosted everyone in and around the place and we-re really looking forward to this game against Wellington,” he said.

Van Egmond also believes that the FIFA international break last weekend has done his chargers the world of good, and has enabled the team to regroup from their drama-charged 2-all draw with Perth Glory a fortnight ago.

“It was a good week at training the week before, and this week everyone has looked sharp. We had a couple of games today, we did a few different scenarios, and tomorrow we-ll split it up and concentrate offensively and defensively into different areas.”

When the two clubs last met this season, the result was a heart wrenching 2-all draw for the Jets, who conceded a 90th minute penalty which Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz converted. This time around, the Phoenix will look to the creative Fred to generate their chances as he begins his six game guest player stint with the New Zealanders. Van Egmond believes that this Sunday-s game across the Tasman will be an entirely different affair to the Round 7 clash played earlier this year.

“I think we-ll have a different game over there. Playing in their backyard will be a more difficult assignment in regards to how much possession we can actually keep. So we haven-t really spoken too much about the last game we played against Wellington because we don-t think it-s really going to relate a great deal to how the game is going to pan out over in Wellington.”

“We-re under no illusions, where we sit on the table doesn-t sit well with us as a group and as a club, and we-re looking to get three points,” van Egmond concluded.

Match Details:
Sunday 23 November
Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
Westpac Stadium
Local kick-off 6:00pm (4:00pm AEDT)
Referee. Matthew Breeze

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and Sky Sport 2. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM and 1233 ABC Newcastle.

Wellington Phoenix Squad. 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. Karl DODD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Vaughan COVENY, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Michael FERRANTE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Glen MOSS (gk), 22. Andrew DURANTE (captain), 23. Costa BARBAROUSES, 25. Emmanuel MUSCAT, 27. FRED.
* two to be omitted.

In. 22. Andrew DURANTE (return from injury), 27. FRED (new signing).
Out. Nil.
Unavailable. 17. Vince LIA (knee – season).

Newcastle Jets Squad. 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (c), 5. James HOLLAND, 6. Jesper HAKANSSON, 8. Matt THOMPSON, 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 10. Jin-Hyung SONG, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 13. Adam D-APUZZO, 14. Shaun ONTONG, 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 19. Jason NAIDOVSKI, 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 24. Marko JESIC, 26. Mark MILLIGAN.
*two to be omitted.

In. 5. James Holland (returns from international duties), 6. Jesper HAKANSSON, 16. Ben Kantarovski (returns from international duties), 24. Marko Jesic (returns from international duties), 19. Jason Naidovski (returns from international duties)
Out. 7. Kaz PATAFTA, 27. Jesse PINTO, 25. Daniel Piorkowski (end of contract)
Unavailable. 15. Jason Hoffman (knee – season),18. Noel Spencer (ankle – indefinite)

*Head-to-head. All matches (played 4): Wellington Phoenix wins 1, Newcastle Jets wins 2 (1 draw). In Wellington (played 1): Wellington Phoenix wins 0, Newcastle Jets wins 1 (0 draws).