JESSE Pinto sat his final HSC exam on Wednesday. Tomorrow he hopes to take a seat on the Newcastle Jets bench for the crucial A-League clash against a resurgent Perth Glory at Members Equity Stadium.
Pinto was added to a 16-man travelling squad, in place of Danish midfielder Jesper Hakansson, which headed west yesterday.
A two-time Australian Schoolboys representative, Pinto moved to Newcastle from Blacktown this year to join the Jets' youth league team.
He also transferred schools, moving from Hills Sports High to Hunter Sports High.
"I finished my HSC on Wednesday," the 18-year-old said.
"My final exam was PDHPE which is one of my strongest subjects. It was good to finish on that.
"I have been training with the first squad for a couple of weeks and did most of the pre-season.
"Training with the youth team, you want to try and push for the first team. Hopefully I get a start on the bench."
An attacking midfielder, Pinto scored in the Jets' 4-0 win over the Central Coast in youth league a fortnight ago and van Egmond hopes he brings some much-needed energy to the squad.
"What the young ones do is give you a huge amount of enthusiasm," the coach said.
Pinto is the second youth team player, following Marko Jesic, to be promoted to the senior squad.
Jesic scored in his starting debut against Wellington and is one of four Jets, alongside James Holland, Ben Kantarovski and Jason Naidovski, away with the Australian under 19s in Saudi Arabia.
Pinto shares a house in Lambton with three Jets youngsters.
"I knew [Jets assistant coach] Mark Jones from NSWIS [NSW Institute of Sport]," Pinto said.
"Before the season started I called him up and told him I was interested in moving to Newcastle and playing in the youth team.
"It went from there. We are on youth league wage and have to pay rent and that sort of stuff. My parents have helped me a lot, especially my father, he really pushes me."
The match is the Jets' first since marquee Edmundo Zura departed.
Joel Griffiths will play at the point of the attack and Korean Song Jin-hyung is likely to play in a more central attacking role.
The Jets and Glory are locked together on 10 points approaching the halfway point of the season.
While back-to-back losses to Central Coast (1-0) and Queensland (2-1) have dented the Jets' confidence, the Glory are on a high after two wins from the past three games.
The Glory have injury concerns over Brazilian midfielder Amaral (hamstring), former Socceroos Hayden Foxe (hamstring) and leading goalscorer Nikita Rukavytsya (knee).
Perth are already without hard-nosed centre-back Dino Djulbic, who suffered an ankle injury in the 2-0 win over Phoenix last round.
But in a major boost, the Glory yesterday extended the contract of coach David Mitchell by two years.
Mitchell's position appeared under threat last month when the coach questioned the commitment of his players, and the club's hierarchy was forced to hold a series of crisis meetings.