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Newcastle´s Jesic included for Wellington trip

Marko Jesic has been recalled to the Newcastle Jets squad for their crucial A-League clash away to the Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday.

Marko Jesic has been recalled to the Newcastle Jets squad for their crucial A-League clash away to the Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Young Socceroo has been named in a 16-man squad in place of in-form forward Ryan Griffiths, who did not travel to New Zealand on Monday afternoon due to personal reasons.

Jesic has been with the Jets since 2008 and made a spectacular debut with the winning goal in a 1-0 win over the Melbourne Victory.

He also formed a very productive partnership with former English international Francis Jeffers for the Jets under the guidance of coach Branko Culina two seasons ago.

However, a terrible run of injuries – including three knee reconstructions – along with the arrival of Griffiths, Emile Heskey and Adam Taggart, has seen him fall behind in the pecking order at Newcastle.

Jesic has been forced to bide his time in the youth league this season where he has been in spectacular form bagging three hat-tricks this campaign and Jets skipper Ruben Zadkovich is confident Jesic will be able to carry that form into Wednesday.

“Marko’s got a lot of experience, he’s been around the game for a long time,” Zadkovich said.

“He’s gone through some horrific injuries but I think that makes him a stronger person.

“He turns up to training with the right attitude and he really puts in.

“If he’s selected I know he’ll do the job. I’ve got the utmost confidence in him.”

The rest of the Jets squad is unchanged from their 0-0 draw with Brisbane.

Coach Gary van Egmond said he would look to maintain the same starting XI with Michael Bridges joining Heskey and Taggart up front while Jesic will vie with Craig Goodwin and James Virgili to take over Griffiths’ role.

The coach said he would assess the squad at training but added Jesic, who recently trialled with MLS side the New England Revolution, is in contention to start.

“We are looking at people with more footballing in the front area and people who threaten to score,” van Egmond said.

”The one thing Marko can do is score.”

Mon 25 February, 2013
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