Jets gamble on Abbas

The Newcastle Jets have rushed back a half-fit Ali Abbas for Sunday's crucial derby clash against Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have rushed back a half-fit Ali Abbas for Sunday's crucial derby clash against Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Jets need to win their last three games, starting with Sydney to have any hope of claiming a finals berth and have included Abbas and veteran striker Sasho Petrovski in an injury-depleted line-up for the match.

A thread-bare Jets midfield, already missing skipper Kasey Wehrman, Ruben Zadkovich and Ben Kantarovski was further depleted when Italian import was slapped with a two-match ban after being red carded in the 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.

Abbas, who is returning from a groin strain, has only had a brief run at training this week but coach Branko Culina is considering gambling on the Iraqi international in a late finals push.

Defender Adam D'Apuzzo, who is also playing despite not being fully fit, believes the Jets still have plenty to play for.

"There's definitely still plenty for our fans to watch," D'Apuzzo told the Jets website.

"We are still a chance mathematically to make the finals, and in the last couple of games, especially in Wellington, you can see that we're still creating chances which is important at this stage of the season."

"There's a reason why we're above Sydney and Perth, we've shown that we've been better through the year."

"And in these games, we've obviously got more to play for as well."

The Jets also announced during the week their commitment to fostering the young talent in the region by re-signing local junior Taylor Regan as well as youngsters James Virgili and Sam Gallaway to full-time club contracts.

Virgili and Gallaway, both members of the Jets youth team, have played in the A-league for the last few games and shown plenty of potential for the future.

Executive Chairman of the Tinkler Sports Group Ken Edwards said the signings are in line with the club's new policy of having 80 per cent of its National Youth League roster from the Northern NSW region.

"As part of the ongoing strategy it is exciting not just for our young players to represent the region, but also a great opportunity for them to showcase their skill and talent with other elite and marquee players with whom we are currently in negotiation," he said.

"It is fundamental that our NYL side reflects the region and provides a football pathway as a career."

"This strategy will function as a platform for local talent to demonstrate their wares and provide them an opportunity to graduate to the A-League side and represent their region with pride on a national podium."

"James and Sam are a prime example of our policy and hopefully will form the nucleus of our side in years to come."