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Orlando Engelaar nearing Melbourne Heart debut

The Dutch midfielder is finally closing in on his first appearance for the red and whites as John van 't Schip's team seek to end their nightmare winless run

Fit-again Orlando Engelaar is in contention to make his Melbourne Heart debut against the Newcastle Jets on Friday after recovering from a serious pre-season injury.

The Dutchman, who cruelly broke his leg in his first friendly outing for the club in August, played 30 minutes for Heart's National Youth League side last weekend.

And head coach John van 't Schip believes his countryman is ready to finally get a taste of the A-League six months after his arrival in Australia.

"Orlando will certainly be part of the squad, we're still deciding what kind of role he can have," he said.

"He's been out for a long time and we want to bring him on in a good way, so we don't want to have him out for a long time again. We're thinking about bringing him in for the start of the game or starting him. But that's something that we will decide tomorrow."

While the Jets are missing four players due to international commitments, Van 't Schip does not believe Friday's match presents a better opportunity than any other to finally get off the mark, and isn't dwelling on the possibility of the club setting an wanted record of 20 A-League matches without a victory.

"Every game is an opportunity, home or away," he said.

"We're approaching it every time in that way. This will be of course, again, a game that's possible we can get our first win, so we'll go for that."

Harry Kewell has been able to string a sequence of games together after shaking off his injury-plagued start to the season, and Van 't Schip now expects the skipper to start demonstrating his true worth to the club.

"He's getting back into full fitness," the Heart coach said.

"He's 35, those things don't go as fast as when you're 20. But he's still important. You can see when he's on the pitch, giving the boys some extra quality. So Harry's getting stronger every week and hopefully he can help us with some strong performances."

According to Van 't Schip, although the club have no active plans to enter the transfer market, they will consider doing so if a worthwhile option becomes available, but with a full squad, must move a player on before they can bring anyone in.

Finally, Engelaar's fellow long-term absentee Jonatan Germano will play for the youth team again this weekend before returning to selection contention for the senior squad next week.

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