Jukic secures senior selection

Outstanding young midfielder Andrija Jukic has been rewarded for his excellent form in the Glory Youth Team with a call-up to the senior squad to tackle the Phoenix in Wellington.

Outstanding young midfielder Andrija Jukic has been rewarded for his excellent form in the Glory Youth Team with a call-up to the senior squad to tackle the Phoenix in Wellington.

Jukic is part of and extend squad of 18 players that will travel to the New Zealand capital and is in contention to make his Hyundai A-League debut.

“Andrija has performed at a consistently high level in the National Youth League and has been training with the senior squad for some time now,” said Coach Dave Mitchell.

“It was just a matter of waiting for an opening to be able to bring Andrija into the mix and he definitely a chance to take some part in the match this weekend.”

Jukic could be used to fill the gap left by Glory skipper Jamie Coyne who will miss the match after picking up a calf injury in Perth-s impressive 3-1 win against Melbourne last weekend.

“It-s great that we-ve been able to take a few extra players, it will give us a few options in the way we could line-up,” Mitchell said.

“With Coyney going out we-ll have to make a change to the formula that has been working for us over the last month or so but that-s why you have other players in the squad, there is now an opportunity for someone to come in and I-m confident they-ll get the job done.”

Mitchell has left nothing to chance in the club-s bid to secure three points and a clean sweep of the Phoenix with star striker Nikita Rukavytsya, tough defender David Tarka and the versatile Mark Lee also coming into the squad. Adrian Trinidad and Wayne Srhoj have both overcome niggles to take their place on the plane.

Jukic will battle it out with former Celtic midfielder and fellow Football West State League player Marc Anthony for a possible midfield role however Mitchell said no matter what happened this weekend Jukic will get his opportunity to play in the Hyundai A-League in the near future.

“I haven-t decided on the make-up of the final 15 as yet, there could be several changes and that will make us less predictable. We-re comfortable with the way we-ve been performing and are ready for the challenge that Wellington will throw at us.”

Perth has gone home empty handed in their two previous outings at Westpac Stadium last season however the West Australian-s have enjoyed maximum points in two meetings with Wellington on home turf in 2008/09. Mitchell said he has prepared his players to expect a fired up Phoenix outfit who will come out with a point to prove after being comprehensively beaten 6-1 in Adelaide last Friday.

“They-ll no doubt want to rebound from last weekend and they-re in front of their home fans and have a top four position in their sights, as do we, so it-s a big game for both clubs and I-m sure you-ll see that played out on the pitch.

“At home they-ve been very strong and we-re expecting a tough match but looking forward to taking up the challenge,” said Mitchell.

This weekend marks the start of a hectic second half of December for Perth who will play four matches in 18 days, three of them on the road.


Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory
Saturday, 13 December 2008
Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Kick off: 3.00pm (AWDT)

Match Radio Broadcast on 6PR 882am – click here to listen

Perth Glory Squad: 30.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 1.Jason PETKOVIC (gk), 2.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 3.David TARKA, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Nick RIZZO, 9.Adrian TRINIDAD, 11.Scott BULLOCH, 13.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 14.Eugene DADI, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.James DOWNEY, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21.Mark LEE, 22.Wayne SRHOJ, 25.Marc ANTHONY, 28.Andrija JUKIC
* three to be omitted

In: 3.David TARKA (promoted), 13.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA (return from injury), 21.Mark LEE (promoted), 28.Andrija JUKIC (promoted from Youth Team)
Out: 4.Jamie COYNE (calf – 3 weeks)
Unavailable: Josip MAGDIC (ankle – season), AMARAL (hamstring – season), James ROBINSON (abdomen – 3 weeks), Hayden Foxe (leg – test)