Paper Talk: Koutroumbis closing in on remarkable comeback
Newcastle Jets are set for a major boost with Johnny Koutroumbis in line for a call-up in Round 6 of the Hyundai A-League season.
Elsewhere, Melbourne City might just have another Daniel Arzani on their hands, while two top striking talents have their say on stellar weekend performances.
It's all in another installment of Hyundai A-League Paper Talk!
Jets clear Koutroumbis for take-off
Newcastle Jets defender Johnny Koutroumbis could make his first appearance of the season this weekend just six weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour in his thyroid gland.
The versatile 20-year-old returned to training earlier this month and could now feature away to Melbourne City on Sunday.
Koutroumbis took part in an intra-club match this week to prove his fitness to Jets boss Ernie Merrick.
"Johnny Koutroumbis played 60 minutes and did really well," Merrick said.
"He'd most probably come on the bench [against City]. As you know, we ease them into the play.
"We may have a couple of players out through injury but we've got a couple to come in as well."
Arzani an inspiration for promising City teen
In just sixth months Daniel Arzani went from being on the fringes at Melbourne City to shining at the FIFA World Cup.
Now, former team-mate Ramy Najjarine wants a piece of the action.
The 18-year-old made his Hyundai A-League debut off the bench against Brisbane Roar on Saturday, sweet reward for having battled back from the shoulder reconstruction he underwent last season.
"Belief in myself was the biggest reason why I'm back to where I was," Najjarine told melbournecityfc.com.au.
"I saw a lot of young boys got their opportunity and took it, like Daniel Arzani and Nathaniel [Atkinson]. I just thank the coaching staff for giving me a chance."
Two-goal Ilso settles 'humdinger' debate
Adelaide United recruit Ken Ilso pressed his selection case to Marco Kurz with a match-winning away to Wellington Phoenix in rebel Female Football Round.
There was uncertainty over the crediting of his second at Westpac Stadium with Tom Doyle having initially appeared to have put through his own net for the second time.
But striker Ilso dismissed the discussion, joking: "I don't understand all the speculation. It was a pure humdinger!
"I thought the ball was going to come between the goalkeeper and defender, so I went for the post.
"Then saw it came a little bit behind the defender. I think he was speculating a bit that it might pass him, so I just stuck my foot out."
Taggart targets better for Brisbane
Adam Taggart was also at the double in Round 5 as he inspired Brisbane Roar to their 2-0 triumph over City.
The result provided a much-needed confidence boost for John Aloisi's men, who had gone winless throughout the opening four fixtures.
HOT SHOT: In-form Taggart craving Roar consistency
Star striker Taggart - scorer of five goals this term - promises more points are on the way.
"It's nice to score two goals but it's a lot better to get the win," he said.
"We've probably only shown glimpses of what we can do.
"I still think we've got so much more to offer. It's a great win but it's only one under the belt."
Sky Blue buddies put friendship to the test
Sydney FC are celebrating 'Mates Night Out' next Saturday, December 8 when Wellington Phoenix visit Jubilee Stadium.
To promote the occasion, Paulo Retre and Michael Zullo sat down for a quiz to discover just how well they know each other.
The results were mixed...