A-League Grand Final awaits for Newcastle Jets reserve keeper Glen Moss
Reserve gloveman Glen Moss will keep goal for Newcastle in Saturday's A-League Grand Final after the Jets ruled out first-choice custodian Jack Duncan with injury.
But there's no panic at the Jets given how the club has shown it can rebound from injuries.
Duncan will watch on from the stands at a packed McDonald Jones Stadium after suffering a tear of his right quad in their semifinal defeat of Melbourne City.
His heartbreak at missing out is Moss's gain, with the former New Zealand international getting the nod for his first Grand Final in more than a decade in the A-League.
"That's why you've got a squad," coach Ernie Merrick said on Monday.
Moss was a first-half substitute against City when Duncan injured himself attempting a clearance.
Merrick said he would be a more than ample replacement come the Grand Final against Melbourne Victory -- a former home of both Moss and Merrick.
"Glen Moss slipped in so easily. He's confident at the back, a good talker and never let anything slip [against City]," he said.
"Moss will definitely be starting [against Victory].
"He's a terrific goalkeeper, so experienced and an international goalkeeper."
Moss's appearance in the decider comes after years of underachievement.
The 35-year-old has played in 11 campaigns -- with New Zealand Knights, Wellington, Gold Coast and Melbourne Victory -- before this one, for just two finals series.
Duncan joins utility Ben Kantarovski (hamstring) and midfielder Wayne Brown (calf) as confirmed absentees for the Grand Final.
But the Jets have plenty of experience dealing with unavailabilities.
They managed without marquee Ronny Vargas for 20 rounds after a sickening ankle injury, while chief goalscorer Roy O'Donovan has also been limited this season due to injury and suspension.
Ben Kantarovski, Daniel Georgievski and Nigel Boogaard have all seen time on the sidelines, yet last year's wooden spooners were still able to finish second and secure a home Grand Final.
"Whenever we've lost a player [this season] the next one has just stepped up," Merrick said.
The Jets are close favourites over Victory to complete their fairytale season and jump from last place to champions.
Merrick said regardless of the result, the Jets had returned to the top of the sport in Australia and wouldn't yo-yo in future seasons.
"We've already got 18 players re-signed before the Grand Final and that includes some of our very best players and captain," Merrick said.
"It's about retaining players and maintaining this momentum as well, building on it and adding better players than the ones we've lost.
"I think we can stay as a top team for a number of years with this squad."
But that's not his message for his players.
To the playing squad, Merrick is urging a final effort to lift the club's first championship since 2008.
"Stay in the present. Don't worry about the future ... do your job and everything will fall into place."