NEWCASTLE Jets will trial two Argentinian strikers as part of a three-game tour in Spain highlighted by a clash against La Liga club Getafe.
The Jets left for Spain on Tuesday night and will spend a week at a pre-season training complex in Murcia where they will play friendlies against local Segunda B outfits Cartagena and Murcia FC as well as Getafe, who finished eighth in the top tier last season.
The departure of English midfielder Wayne Brown by mutual termination on Tuesday leaves the Jets with two places available for foreigners.
With striker Roy O’Donovan to miss up to a third of the season on suspension, Ernie Merrick intends to bring in more firepower.
“We need to look at two striking roles and this frees up an extra visa spot,” Merrick said. “It gives us more options if we need them ... there is nothing close on the horizon.”
O’Donovan, whose 10-match ban is limited to A-League and FFA Cup games, will play in Spain.
Joe Champness and Gus Thurgate are also likely to spend time at the point of the attack and Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna confirmed that they will “have a look at a couple of Argentinian strikers” in Spain.
“They are both tied to clubs at the minute but there is the potential for them to come and have a hit out,” he said. “We have checked them out. We are playing three games in a short space of time so we will just have a look at them.”
Socceroos attacker Dimi Petratos, who has returned from a three-week break post the World Cup, and marquee Ronny Vargas will join the squad in Spain.
Both are expected to be in the strongest XI for the battle with Getafe.
“Dimi has had a few weeks off but he has been doing his own running and is pretty well ready to go,” Merrick said. “It will be interesting to see where Ronny is at. He has been doing a lot of training with his own physio. Game time now is very good, especially for Ronny.”
The Jets will spend 10 days in Spain and on arrival back will fly directly to the Gold Coast for their FFA Cup clash against the Knights.
““It is so much better playing against quality opposition than just playing provincial games or games against A-League teams,” Merrick said. “I can’t think of another A-League side which has played three matches and had a training set-up in Spain.”