Tara Andrews and Gema Simon are sticking with Newcastle Jets for next season, the club confirmed today.
The two experienced campaigners – one of which finished in the top two goalscorers in Northern NSW WPL – are back in for the Jets ahead of their November 1 season opener against Melbourne Victory.
The pair both played six games each for Newcastle last season after Andrews returned from a year away from football and Simon’s season was curtailed by injury.
Andrews featured for New Lambton in the club’s debut year in the Northern NSW WPL and was one of the side’s key attackers.
In her 16 appearances for the club she netted 17 goals, finishing the season as the second-highest goalscorer.
Simon was limited to six games in Jets colours last season through injury, following her return from Norway’s Avaldsnes, which again hampered her throughout the Northern NSW WPL season for South Wallsend.
The former skipper did manage to play seven matches at the back-end of the year for the Wolves, scoring twice for the semi-finalists.
Jets W-League coach Craig Deans was looking forward to having the attacking mettle of Andrews and Simon back in the mix.
“Tara is a quality player in the final third and Gema liks to get forward and attack from the backline, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can both offer us this season,” Deans said.
“Last season was tough for them in different respects, Gema had to manage a knee injury and Tara had to settle back into the physical rigours of a professional football club – they’ll be better for those experiences and both return in good shape for 2018/19.
“They’re two senior members of our squad, have both represented Australia and possess the type of knowledge we want to impart on our younger players.
“Beyond that experience and knowledge, Tara and Gema are two outstanding characters and their inclusion significantly strengthens our squad.”