Newcastle Jets’ opponents for next week’s AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage qualifier have been confirmed, with the Hyundai A-League side to take on Persija Jakarta.
The Indonesian side booked their date with the Jets after a 3-1 win over Singapore’s Home United on Tuesday night.
After scores were locked at 1-1 at the break, goals to Persija’s international stars Beto Goncalves and Marko Simic were enough to give them victory and set up a clash with the Jets next Tuesday, February 12.
It comes after Ernie Merrick named his 18-man squad for next week's qualifier last night, with Brazilian winger Jair the biggest name to miss the cut.
Jair wasn’t included by Merrick as one of the three visa players the Jets could select in their squad.
Injury means that Joey Champness also didn’t make the cut but players with ACL experience like Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Nigel Boogaard, Jason Hoffman and Ben Kantarovski are all included.
“We’ve picked a strong core of players with a good mix of experience and youth,” Merrick said.
“There are a couple in there who have played in the Asian Champions League before like Nikolai [Topor-Stanley] and Nigel [Boogaard], and their understanding of the Asian football landscape will be crucial to our chances.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our players to showcase their skills on the big stage, and the boys are really keen to play Champions League.
“It’s an honour for the club to have the opportunity to qualify, we’re extremely focused on the task at hand and looking forward to challenge.”
Should the Jets beat Persija next week at Hunter Stadium, they will then head to Japan to play the competition’s reigning champions, Kashima Antlers for a spot in the Group Stage.
If the Jets can get through the two qualifying matches, they will be in Group E along with Gyeongnam FC, Johor Darul Ta’zim and a Playoff Spot 2 Winner from China, Thailand or Vietnam.
Tickets for next week's match go on sale at 10am on Wednesday, February 6 via Ticketmaster at 10am for Members, and Thursday, February 7 at 10am for the general public.
Newcastle Jets ACL Squad
Goalkeepers: 1.Glen MOSS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO
Defenders: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 13.Ivan VUJICA 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.John KOUTROUMBIS, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Midfielders: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 10.Ronald VARGAS (visa), 16.Nick COWBURN, 23.Matt RIDENTON (visa)
Attackers: 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (visa), 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 32.Angus THURGATE