American attacker, Katie Stengel, will return to the Newcastle Jets for the upcoming W-League season.
Stengel played a key role in the club’s first semi-final appearance in almost 10 years in 2017/18, playing in all 13 matches for the Jets.
The centre-forward topped the goal scoring charts for the Jets last season with 10 goals in 13 games – a haul which ranked her second overall in the league.
The 26-year-old has called the Western United States home in the NWSL this season, scoring six goals in 23 matches for the Utah Royals.
And she was delighted to back it up with a return to the Hunter.
“This’ll be my third season in Australia and my second with the Jets, and I’m really excited about what’s ahead,” Stengel said.
“The weather down here is beautiful and the way it works out with the American season, I get back-to-back summers.
“Taylor [Smith] is a good friend of mine too, and it’s fantastic to have her here with me in Newcastle – I’ve got a good feeling about this year.”
In just her first season with the Jets, Stengel shot to third on the all-time goal-scoring ranks in Newcastle.
A similar haul this time around would likely take the American past second place on that list, Emily van Egmond – who is currently on 16 goals.
Jets W-League coach, Craig Deans, was delighted to welcome the American back.
“Katie was key to our success last year, and she performed consistently at a high level in every single match for us,” Deans said.
“She's been performing well over in the NWSL and I’ve been keeping a close eye on her. She's back in Australia in good nick and I'm confident she can replicate last season's efforts.
“Those 10 goals last season were crucial to our success and a big part of the reason we made the Semi Final last year. She's one of our most important inclusions in 2018/19.”