Downey eager for return

Glory defender Jimmy Downey is on the verge of making his long awaited comeback to Hyundai A-League action when Perth tackles North Queensland at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Friday night.

Glory defender Jimmy Downey is on the verge of making his long awaited comeback to Hyundai A-League action when Perth tackles North Queensland at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Friday night.

Downey could be excused for thinking he-d become the side-s forgotten man after a frustrating run of injuries has seen him stuck on the sidelines all season.

That could change on Friday with Coach Dave Mitchell keen to inject Downey-s pace into the club-s crucial clash against the Fury.

Downey travelled as part of an extended 16 man Glory squad and would make his first appearance of the season if selected in the final line-up.

“It-s great to be back in a position to be selected,” Downey said.

“It-s a pretty lonely place when you have to sit in front of the television and watch the boys play knowing you can-t be there helping them out.”

One of the club-s fittest players, Downey has experienced the lows that come with injury, his case amplified by consecutive complaints that required a long and arduous rehabilitation. While it has been tough, the 22 year old has taken the positives from the experience and believes there are important lessons that will benefit him in the long term.

“Rehab is really tedious and to go through basically the same thing twice was mentally tough but I think I have probably grown up a fair bit in that time and realised just how lucky you are to be fit,” Downey said.

“I-ve got a lot more to offer than I have shown. I wasn-t happy with my performances last year and this season has been frustrating with the injuries but I know I have a lot more to give and I want to prove my worth and pay back the faith Perth Glory have put in me.

“I was able though to get a good fitness base during the rehab and I-m looking forward to contributing to the team throughout the rest of the season.

“Wherever Mitch (Dave Mitchell) thinks he needs me I-ll slot in, if that-s coming off the bench it doesn-t bother me,” said Downey.

“The team is doing well and looking really good and to be part of it would be fantastic.”

Downey is joined in the Perth squad by hardworking midfielder Scott Bulloch, who returns after a fortnight out with a thigh injury, while fellow midfielder Andrija Jukic has been promoted after several stellar performances for the Glory Youth team.

Perth were unable to call on defender Chris Coyne for a second consecutive match due to a back complaint while joint leading scorer Branko Jelic didn-t make the trip as he recovers from a kick to his ankle received in last Sunday-s draw against Brisbane.

Hyundai A-League 2009/10 - Rd 18 North Queensland Fury v Perth Glory Friday, 11 December 2009 at Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville

Kick-off: 5.30pm AWST Referee: Peter Green

Perth Glory Radio Broadcast Partner: 6PR - 882am www.6pr.com.au - click here to listen.

Television Broadcast - Live & exclusive on Fox Sports 2 and Sky Sports 1.

North Queensland Fury squad: 1.Paul HENDERSON (GK), 2.Robbie MIDDLEBY, 3. Chris TADROSSE, 7.Jason SPAGNUOLO, 9.Robbie FOWLER (c), 10.Jeremy BROCKIE, 11.David WILLIAMS, 12.Jack HINGERT,14.Chris GROSSMAN, 16. Paul KOHLER, 19.Daniel MCBREEN, 20. Justin PASFIELD (GK), 21.John TAMBOURAS, 22. Karl DODD, 23. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 24 Dyron DAAL, 26 Matt SMITH, 27 Terry COOKE *three to be omitted*

In: Chris TADROSSE (promoted) Karl DODD (promoted), Dyron DAAL (return from injury) Out: Jacob TIMPANO (not selected), Beau BUSCH (not selected), Fred AGIUS (not selected), Osama MALIK (not selected) Unavailable: Shane STEFANUTTO (knee - indefinite), Scott WILSON (knee - indefinite), James ROBINSON (knee- indefinite) Ufuk TALAY (calf - 4-6 weeks)

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Jimmy DOWNEY, 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Scott BULLOCH, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC *one to be omitted*

In: Scott BULLOCH (return from injury), Jimmy DOWNEY (promoted), Andrija JUKIC (promoted) Out: Branko JELIC (ankle - 2 weeks) Unavailable: Chris COYNE (back - 1 week), Anthony SKORICH (foot - 4 weeks)