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Western United ALM Team News: Round 17 vs Newcastle Jets

Steven Lustica Western United

Western United continues to get players back into the fold in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men with John Aloisi welcoming his two vice-captains into his extended squad for Friday night’s clash with Newcastle Jets.

After missing last week due to illness, Tomoki Imai has returned to training and will be ready to feature again, looking to move to 99 league appearances for the Green and Black.

Midfielder Steven Lustica will also return to contention for this match, refilling United’s engine room after Rhys Bozinovski also completed his recovery to feature against Wellington last week.

John Aloisi has handed eight first team debuts to Western United Academy products this season, and there could be a ninth on Friday with winger Luke Vickery included in an extended squad for the first time.

The 18-year-old has progressed rapidly through Western United’s Senior Academy after a breakout 2023 and has been frequently involved in first team training. The talented attacker will now be eying a professional debut for the Green and Black.

Alongside Bozinovski, last week also saw the return of James Donachie with the centre-back playing the full 90 minutes to mark his Isuzu UTE A-League debut for Western United.

Youngster Zach Lisolajski started at left-back and will be hoping to feature again with both Ben Garuccio and Connor O’Toole set to miss out again. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Aloisi confirmed Garuccio is close to coming back into contention.

Charbel Shamoon came off the bench for the final half hour in Wellington and impressed with his technical ability and enthusiasm at right-back. The Academy starlet is included in the extended squad again and will be eager to impress if he is given the opportunity again.

Full Western United extended squad

Western United squad: 1. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 4. James DONACHIE, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 7. Ramy NAJJARINE, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Michael RUHS, 10. Steven LUSTICA, 11. Daniel PENHA, 13. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 19. Josh RISDON, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 22. Kane VIDMAR, 29. Charbel SHAMOON, 32. Angus THURGATE, 33. Matt SUTTON (gk), 36. Zach LISOLAJSKI, 37. Luke VICKERY, 38. Noah BOTIC, 39. Matthew GRIMALDI, 42. Rhys BOZINOVSKI

Ins: 6. Tomoki IMAI (returns from illness), 10. Steven LUSTICA (returns from injury), 37. Luke VICKERY (promoted)

Outs: 44. Jordan LAUTON (omitted)

Unavailable: 17. Ben GARUCCIO (injured), 24. Connor O’TOOLE (injured), 27. Jacob TRATT (injured), 41. Oliver LAVALE (injured) 77. Riku DANZAKI (injured)

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League Men Round 17

Western United vs Newcastle Jets

Friday, 16 February

Kick-off: 7:45pm AEDT  

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+