A roster full of local talent, Newcastle is hoping that homegrown youth can propel them forward.
WHAT DEANS SAID
“We’re the only club that has this kind of youth academy and we want to reward them. If we think they are good enough, we want to give them the opportunity in the W-League.
“Last year, three girls coming out of the academy got W-League contracts so that is in the right direction for us. We expect this as a philosophy and over the next few years we are going to just keep working with the academy and keep producing as many local players as we can.
“I’m not saying that we are going to finish first and not lose any games during the season. It is going to be a very hard season for us but we are committed to making it work.
“In some ways I am looking forward to it because it is an exciting challenge as a coach. it is exciting for the players because they get to represent their hometown and if they are good enough they will get the rewards.”
Coming off of representing the Matildas at this year’s World Cup, Simon is going to be a player the Jets rely on heavily. The 29 year-old will anchor the backline and help settle her teammates during the tough stretches the Jets may face.
Simon, being a Newcastle native and having been a part of the club for a majority of her career gives her even more validity with her teammates. Her defensive abilities will surely have her on the scouting reports for every opposing team.
The Jets may have lost their leading scorer from last year in Courtnee Vine, but the Jets did sign their top scorer of all time. Tara Andrews has recorded 20 goals for her local club and if Newcastle is going to be successful this season she will need to increase that total.
Newcastle may not be able to blow out teams, but if they can average one-two goals a game and hold tight on defence they may be able to take some games people believe they shouldn’t.
Hopefully the team chemistry can have the midfielders playing well timed balls for Andrews to finish.
If the Jets want people to stop reminding them that van Egmond is gone than Clare Wheeler is going to have to dominate the midfield.
Wheeler won the Jets’ Player of the Year award last season so she has the respect of her teammates and her club.
Her next accomplishment will be if she can help Newcastle exceed expectations for this year and be the facilitator that Newcastle has always had.
ONE TO WATCH
The Jets have picked up a few players with high level experience and one of those is Nicki Flannery. Coming over from Canberra, Flannery also has experience on the Australia U-20 team.
The striker can alleviate some pressure off of Simonsen and allow the Jets to score from more than just one person.
If the Jets can use their team chemistry to get Flannery involved in the attack, the more likely they are to upset their opponents.