A shoulder injury to first-choice goalkeeper Michael Theo will see Matt Acton become the 100th player to wear the Roar strip in an A-League match this Saturday against Perth Glory.
Roar manager Mike Mulvey declared Acton would start the Round 8 clash in place of Theo, who has been carrying the injury for the past fortnight.
Mulvey said he had complete confidence in Theo’s understudy and stated boldly following Friday morning training, “It’s Matty Acton’s time to shine.”
Originally hailing from Townsville before moving to Brisbane as part of the Queensland Academy of Sport, Acton was part of the Australian squad at the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup in Colombia.
The 21 year old started for the Roar Youth side last weekend in a 3-2 home win over Sydney FC as one of three permitted overage players.
Mulvey insisted Acton would be up to the task this weekend against a Glory outfit that boasts all-time leading A-League goalscorer Shane Smeltz.
“The issue was that when I arrived that we needed strength in numbers and strength in depth – two players for each position and Matty’s the second person for the goalkeeping position.”
“So it’s very simple – he’s been training for this, he’s been selected for this and it’s his turn now so I’m sure he’ll step up to the plate.”
Pressed about the effect of the forced change on the team’s defensive balance, Mulvey said it wasn’t a concern.
“Matty’s one of us, we’ve got faith in him, he’s going to come in and do the job,” he asserted.
Despite his confidence in the club’s latest debutant, Mulvey said he expected Theo to return the week after against Adelaide United.
“He’s got a slight pain in his shoulder, so we’re not going to risk him,” Mulvey said of the injury.
“We’ve rested him for six days and we feel that if we get another six days rest in him he’ll be ready for the game after.”
Curiously, Mulvey refused to confirm whether the club’s third goalkeeper, Queensland Academy of Sport’s Fraser Chalmers, would take a seat on the bench for the match-up with Glory.
A guarded Mulvey simply stated, “I haven’t made that decision yet.”
Other possibilities for the substitute goalkeeper spot include Buderim Wanderers product and Youth team reserve goalkeeper Denver Crickmore.
While it remains unlikely Mulvey will venture outside of the squad with a short-term injury replacement, Brisbane Strikers shot-stopper David Chambers has been one of several local goalkeeping talents to train with the Roar in recent weeks.