Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold will put his faith in Aaron Calver and hand the defender his first start of the season in the Sky Blues’ huge Asian Champions League opener against Suwon Bluewings on Wednesday.
With regular centre-back Jordy Buijs unavailable due to ACL squad restrictions, Calver is poised to get his chance in Sydney’s line-up for the Group stage encounter at Allianz Arena.
The Helensburgh product has had minimal playing time throughout the A-League campaign as the Sky Blues have continued to dominate the competition.
But Arnold believes his young defender will be ready for the challenge of Korean powerhouse Suwon, who will be missing Wollongong-born defender Matt Jurman (knee) for the clash.
“I have a lot of faith and trust in Aaron every time he plays for us,” Arnold said.
“He is back and fully recovered from a knee injury and he has played a lot of football in the last six weeks in the [National Youth League] as well as in house friendly games.
“He has always done a great job for us and I know the boys have a lot of trust in him as well as I do.
“He will come into the side for Jordy Buijs and young Ben Warland, who we signed from Adelaide will be in contention on the bench as well.”
Calver will likely suit up alongside veteran Alex Wilkinson and Arnold believes the experienced defender will allow his 22-year-old teammate to settle quickly into the Sky Blues back-line.
“When you play beside Alex Wilkinson and you have players around you that [Aaron will] have, then you will only do a great job,” Arnold said. “I’ve said it before, whoever plays beside Wilkinson, always plays great.”
Meanwhile, Jurman is expected to return within a month after undergoing minor knee surgery.