A-League: Mario Shabow travels to New Zealand for Newcastle Jets instead of Wayne Brown

By , 17/12/2018 16:21

IN: Mario Shabow training with the Newcastle Jets earlier this week. Picture: Marina NeilCALL-UP:Ronny Vargas cleared for takeoff

Mario Shabow will travel with the Newcastle Jets to New Zealand on Thursday following the late withdrawal of Wayne Brown.

Shabow, who hasn’t played A-League since January 3, was called up to the Auckland-bound squad after Brown, a regular in the starting side from around Christmas, went down ill.

The decision was announced shortly before the team bus departed for Sydney Airport from Ray Watt Oval at the University of Newcastle.

Both players had trained at the club’s headquarters on Wednesday.

CHANCE:Petratos one step closer to Socceroos debut

The midfield shuffle gives Jets coach Ernie Merrick more food for thought ahead of the round-23 encounter against the last-placed Wellington Phoenix.

The Jets, who could all-but guarantee a top-two finish by collecting three competition points on Saturday, alreadyhadseveral forced changes from their previous outing.

Striker Roy O’Donovan (suspended), skipper Nigel Boogaard (injured) as well as J-League signingAndrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamond) all featured in a 2-1 win over leaders Sydney FC at home on March 3.

Joey Champness andLachlan Jackson have been touted among the likely first XI replacements.

Marquee playerRonny Vargas is expected to play the bench after a long lay-off with injury.

Dimi Petratos lines up for the Jets this weekend before joining the Socceroos, along with Nabbout, overseas for two friendlies later this month. Petratos will miss Newcastle’s clash away with Adelaide on March 23 but returns in time for the last three regular rounds of 2017-2018.

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