Newcastle Jets look set for another injection of youth against Melbourne Victory on Friday with teenager Josh Brillante in line to make his first start for the A-League club.
Newcastle has showcased some promising young players already this season, with wingers Craig Goodwin and James Virgili impressing in recent weeks.
And with first-choice right-back Scott Neville again unavailable due to a groin injury, coach Gary van Egmond hinted Brillante could be the next to get his chance after coming off the bench in last week's 2-1 derby win over Central Coast Mariners.
Taylor Regan filled in at right-back in that match but van Egmond said Young Socceroos defender Brillante could be a better fit against Victory.
"As a fullback, he probably offers a little bit more than Taylor, he's a little bit more settled in that area," van Egmond said of Brillante, who he signed from now-defunct Gold Coast United.
"Taylor can do a decent job as a fullback but I wouldn't call him a specialist fullback, he's more comfortable as a centre-back.
"We just have to weigh that up, where we think they're going to be best suited."
Van Egmond said Neville should be fit to make his return against Perth Glory in a fortnight while fellow new signing James Brown could also have recovered from an ankle injury in time for the away clash.
The coach welcomed the strong competition for places but said Newcastle wascontinuing to find its groove and developing its style of play with star striker Emile Heskey.
Van Egmond said the Jets needed to focus on controlling games and not getting caught up in rushing the ball up to their big striker.
"We're not going to become a team that's looking to play direct and play off the second ball," van Egmond said.
"We are going to play direct at times but it's going to be calculated as to when we play direct and then it's going to be a case of ensuring we control the game through our ball circulation.
"On the weekend, we didn't control the game, we need to change that."
Van Egmond said striker Ryan Griffiths should be fit to face Victory, despite hurting his neck in his sleep.
"I think it was a funny way he went to sleep or he slept all night but I'm pretty sure he should be fine."
Newcastle Jets have been crowned Champions of the Singapore Soccer Sixes after defeating Chonburi FC of Thailand 4-1 in Sunday’s grand final.