Boogaard pushing for A-League semi start

Emma Kemp

Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick has declared skipper Nigel Boogaard "100 per cent" ready to start in Friday night's blockbuster A-League semi-final with Melbourne City.

Seven weeks ago Boogaard was ruled out for the season after breaking a bone in his knee, but the defensive rock's remarkable recovery has him in line to lead the club's first finals appearance in eight years.

"I think Nigel would be 100 per cent if I needed him to start," Merrick said on Thursday.