Newcastle Jets boss Ernie Merrick hasn't ruled out handing new recruit Patricio Rodriguez an F3 Derby debut against Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday night.
The Argentine winger trained with his new teammates for the first time on Friday just 48 hours after arriving on the Hunter.
Rodriguez – formerly of Greek giants AEK Athens – is an injury replacement for Ronald Vargas and is pressing to be involved in Hyundai A-League action straight away.
And the F3 Derby against the Mariners would be some cauldron to introduce yourself to the Jets fans.
But Merrick was keeping his cards close to his chest when asked whether we’d get to see the classy playmaker in action on Tuesday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.
“Obviously we’d like to get Patricio on the park as soon as possible, but we want to make sure he is in the best possible position to do so,” the Jets boss said.
“As expected he passed his medical and overall he’s in great shape coming from Greece mid-season but it’s a big move so we’ll tread carefully.
“We’ve still got a number of key players out, so Patricio is a welcome addition as we push into the back half of the season.”
Rodriguez has settled in quickly in Newcastle thanks to former teammate at AEK – and the man he’s replacing – in Vargas.
The 27-year-old will also be put up in a beachfront apartment in the heart of the city.
“He’s a world-class signing and we want to show Patricio what a wonderful city Newcastle is and have him and his family really enjoy their time here,” Jets’ CEO Lawrie McKinna said.