After years of pain and near misses the Newcastle Jets were finally rewarded with finals football for the first time since the inaugural W-League season.
Their finals appearance was largely due to aggressive attacking football and a fight to the end attitude.
This was demonstrated in the 3-2 semi-final defeat to Sydney FC from which the Jets came from 2-0 and a player down at halftime to level the scores in the dying minutes of regular time.
This recipe looks, at least on paper to be followed once again with the majority of last season’s squad back on board. American duo Arin Gilliland and Tori Huster stand out as notable absentees for this campaign.
Gilliland’s pace and aggression on the left wing will essentially be replaced by fellow American Taylor Smith who is on her first overseas outing Clare Wheeler will step up and fill the hole vacated by Huster.
Former squad member Libby Copus-Brown has also announced she has joined the Jets, and despite not being named in the initial squad by the club, could be another option if needed.
Tara Andrews could be deployed in an attacking midfield role having played there in the trail match earlier this month.
The Jets real strength was their pace in attack and that looks set to be the case again this season, but their defence has been re-enforced.
All eyes will be on recruit former W-League Golden Boot now defender Larissa Crummer. She takes on her new position in the middle of the backline alongside the experienced Cass Davis and could be the key to the Jets entire campaign.
Crummer’s height will give her a similar advantage to that enjoyed by Natasha Prior last campaign. Combined with her big game experience, despite being in the process of learning an entirely new position, is confident in her ability to adapt.
“From my time in the number nine, I’m able to understand the runs of strikers, but there are a lot of areas that I definitely need to work on and grow,” Crummer told The Women’s Game.
“If I can keep learning and growing with Newcastle then that’s also something that I can bring to the National side,” she said.