Dutchy considers unleashing Italian striker in trial

ITALIAN striker Valerio Mastrelli will arrive in Newcastle tonight and could be rushed onto the bench for the Jets' trial match against the Central Coast Mariners at Budgewoi on Saturday.

Mastrelli, 20, is one of three overseas triallists Jets coach Gary van Egmond will assess over the next three weeks.

Fellow Italian Simone Bracalello is scheduled to arrive in Australia on Monday, but the Jets are still awaiting a visa for Cameroon striker Severin Brice Bikoko.

Van Egmond watched Mastrelli play for Guidonia in the Italian fourth division when he was in Europe in May on a recruitment trip.

"He is very quick, really direct and looks like he would suit the style we play," van Egmond said.

"There is a chance he could play against the Mariners. We will see how he pulls up after he gets here.

"It won't matter a great deal if he doesn't play. He is here for a good 10 days to two weeks, so we will get the chance to have a good look at him."

Mastrelli played juniors at Serie A clubs Inter Milan and Siena.

"He is a likely lad who is looking for a sea change," Italian-based Jets director of football Remo Nogarotto said.

"He likes the idea of playing in the [Asian] Champions League and maybe catapulting his career into Asia rather than just Europe.

"He is young, ambitious, aggressive and very quick.

"He has accepted a trial, but there is no guaranteed contract."

The Jets are still awaiting final confirmation from Bracalello, but Nogarotto was hopeful he would be here on Monday.

"He is more a No.10 but can play striker," Nogarotto said. "He is only 22 and played for Prato in Serie C."

Nogarotto said the Jets were having difficulties obtaining a visa for Bikoko and might sign the Cameroon under-23 striker sight unseen.

"Getting a visa for him is not an easy exercise," Nogarotto said.

"There is not an Australian embassy in Cameroon, so he has to travel to Pretoria in South Africa to procure a visa.

"That may take a tad longer.

"He is the one we are most excited about. He is in the Cameroonian Olympic team and, from all reports, is very lively. We might have to take the punt on him, which is not our preferred option."

Former Melbourne Knights centre-back Antun Kovacic and fellow Victorian Yanni Galanos are also expected to get a chance to impress against the Mariners.

Kovacic spent three days at the Jets last month.

Galanos has returned to Australia after a stint in Greece.

The Jets have three places to fill on their roster and are also considering former Chelsea and Melbourne wing-back Joe Keenan.

Italy scrape into quarter-finals, Page 74

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