EXCITEMENT machine Joey Champness could make a cameo appearance against Melbourne Victory but the Jets will be without Ben Kantarovski for the next three games.
Champness has been in full training for two weeks after recovering from a broken bone in his foot the flyer suffered in the pre-season.
With Ronny Vargas suspended for the clash against the Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday, Brazilian Jair or English-born striker Kaine Sheppard will come into the XI, opening a place on the bench.
“The boys played so well [in the loss to City] I am not going to change much of the team,” coach Ernie Merrick said. “We will switch Dimi into the No.10 position and it will give us an opportunity to bring in another striker. Joey has surprisingly put his hand up. He has only got about 15-20 minutes in him but sometimes that is all you need. That is what he did last year.”
Scans confirmed that Kantarovski has a grade-one groin strain after he withdrew late from the City game.
Steve Ugarkovic will again partner Matthew Ridenton in midfield, while Lewis Italiano is set to stay in goals for Glen Moss.
“Kanta plays predominantly as a six,” Merrick said. “Where as now we have two eights. We have a very mobile midfield which worked really well for us. I was surprised how well it worked. Steve gets forward, Matt gets forward, yet they have the engines to get back. We are very mobile plus we have Nick Cowburn on the bench.”
Moss will have 12 stitches removed on Wednesday from a leg would and Merrick said he would not be “rushed” back into the side.
“The quadriceps is very important in kicking, long kicking in particular, and we would hate for the wound to open up again,” the coach said. “We will be careful. He will only play if he is ready to play.”
Italiano has been outstanding in his two starts and Merrick said the 28-year-old was challenging Moss for the No.1 spot.
“Lewis is putting pressure on him and Glen acknowledges that,” Merrick said. “That is the good thing about Glen. He worked that way with Jack Duncan as well. He is just a good person to have around. He wants the team to do well and whoever is in [the team] he is supportive of them.”