As 2018 comes to an end, it is certain that it will have been a year that young Jets’ defender Johnny Koutroumbis won’t forget in a hurry. Earlier in the year, the twenty year old defender played in his first A-League grand final, albeit a losing one, as his Jets finished second to Melbourne Victory.

At the start of the preseason to the current season, Koutroumbis’s life was turned upside down when after noticing a lump at the base of his neck, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Surgery to remove the growth followed soon after with his Football career seemingly taking a back seat.

However, such are the powers of his recovery, that Koutroumbis stands poised to resume his A-League playing career this weekend, after being named in Ernie Merrick’s squad to take on Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Sunday.

According to Jets coach Ernie Merrick, Koutroumbis “did really well” in a youth-team intraclub game last weekend, earning his recall to the first team squad from where he is expected to start on the bench.

As a follow up to surgery, the twenty year old is scheduled to undergo further treatment in the form of radiation therapy over the coming month.

Nevertheless, his return to the senior squad will no doubt provide a boost in morale to his Jets’ team mates and to himself as he prepares for his next phase of treatment following surgery.

The former West Adelaide defender, is in the second year of a two year contract with Newcastle Jets, having made 35 appearances for the club.