Soccer: Newcastle Jets flyer Joseph Champness to play F3 derby against Central Coast Mariners before joining Australian under-23 squad | photos

The Newcastle Jets will retain the services of Joseph Champness for tonight’s F3 derby with the Central Coast Mariners despite being called up for Australian under-23 duties. 

The second-placed Jets host their traditional rivals at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday (7:50pm) with in-form Champness set to line-up in the club’s starting XI before taking off for China the following day.

Champness, who was recently named the NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee for December, will replace injured Western Sydney Wanderers FC forward Jaushua Sotirio in the national age squad for the upcoming 2018 AFC Under-23 Championships.

FFA made the announcement at 11am on Tuesday morning.

Australia’s tournament opener will be against Syria on Thursday. Other opponents in group D will be Vietnam on Sunday and Korea Republic next Wednesday (January 17). The top-two from each pool qualify for the quarter-finals from January 19. The decider is scheduled for January 27.

During the same period Newcastle have A-League fixtures with Brisbane (Friday), Wellington (January 20) and Melbourne City (January 25). 

Results at the international competition will impact seedings for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship, which doubles as qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.