NEWCASTLE Jets coach Ernie Merrick will run his eye over two Chinese triallists next week.
Yu Jiawei, a 24-year-old fullback, and 22-year-old midfielder Gan Tiancheng will arrive on Monday for a two-week stint.
They have been recommended by scouts acting on behalf of the Ledman Group, the company owned by the Jets’ billionaire Chinese owner Martin Lee.
Last season, Chinese winger Ma Leilei played in 15 games for the Jets, scoring one goal.
Lee’s preference is for one of Newcastle’s overseas players to be Chinese, although Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said there was no obligation to sign either Yu or Gan.
“At this point they’re just coming out to train with us,” McKinna said on Thursday.
“If we don’t think they can improve the squad, they’ll go back at the end of the trial period.”
Yu, from second-division club Qingdao Huanghai, is a former member of the Chinese Olympic team while Gan, from Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande, has represented China at under-21 level.
McKinna said if either were offered a contract, it would not prevent the Jets from signing an injury-waiver replacement for marquee midfielder Ronny Vargas, who is recovering from a broken ankle.
Meanwhile, Dimi Petratos has become the second Newcastle player in a row to be named Professional Footballers Australia player of the month.
The attacking midfielder was recognised for his deeds in November. Jets striker Roy O’Donovan collected the award in October.
The monthly PFA award is voted on by A-League players and Petratos said it was an honour to be recognised by his peers.
“I’m loving my football in Newcastle at the moment, Ernie has given me a licence to be creative in the front third and I’m really enjoying it,” Petratos said.
“That attacking style of play has seen us score plenty of goals so far this season, I’m just glad to have been able to play a role in that and help the team find early success.
“It’s nice to be recognised like this by the PFA, but my main focus is continuing to build on our strong start to the season.”
The Jets flew to Perth on Thursday to acclimatise and prepare for Saturday night’s clash with the Glory at nib Stadium.
After two losses in their past three games, Newcastle will risk relinquishing second spot on the points table if they slip up again.
They will be hoping to return of senior players O’Donovan (groin) and Wayne Brown (calf) will reinforce their squad.
Perth have injury worries of their own, after Diego Castro (calf), Adam Taggart (hamstring), Andreu (calf), and Scott Neville (groin) all missed last week’s 1-0 loss to Central Coast Mariners.