The Newcastle Jets have announced a signing coup as fan favourite Arin Wright (nee Gilliland) has returned to the club for the remainder of the Westfield W-League season.
After enjoying back to back 1-0 wins to get their season up and running, the Newcastle Jets have received a further boost with the news that Wright has returned to the club, albeit under a new name, for the remainder of the 2018/19 season.
The popular 25-year-old got married last month to fiancé Evan Wright, meaning she returns to the Jets as Mrs Wright, and while fans may not be familiar with the name on the back of her shirt, they should be familiar with her energetic style of play.
After her wedding and honeymoon, Wright made the decision to return to Australia and there was only one club that she had in mind.
“I absolutely love Newcastle and couldn’t wait to get back,” Wright said.
“I’ve been on Deansy’s [head coach Craig Deans] case for a few weeks now and I’m so appreciative that the Club has been able to make this possible.
“We had a strong season in the NWSL, making the playoffs and after a longer break than usual I’m feeling fit and refreshed.
“The girls have had a great start to the season and I was just itching to get out here, now it’s just time to get into training and get started.”
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Primarily used as a defender by her American side Chicago Red Stars, Wright has enjoyed more attacking freedom at the Jets and has scored 10 goals in 22 appearances for Newcastle and has impressed many with her work rate both in attack and defence.
Coach Craig Deans had recruited fellow US international Taylor Smith to replace Wright for this season, however, he will now be spoilt for choice as the Jets boast an American quartet unmatched in the league.
“To be honest, we were never expecting Arin to be here this season,” Deans said.
“Initially she was the one driving it, hurrying me along to get a deal done because she couldn’t wait to get back to Newcastle.
“She loves the town, loves the team and she’s a huge inclusion for us for the remainder of the season.
“Everyone has seen what she can offer on the pitch, with her speed, athleticism and presence on the ball – she’s a great personality to have around the group and we’re all really happy to have her back.”
Wright will be immediately available for inclusion for this Thursday's clash with Brisbane Roar, a side whom she scored a hat-trick against last season.