Newcastle Jets aim to turn their Broadmeadow ground into a fortress this season, starting with their maiden home game of the campaign against Western Sydney Wanderers.
There is genuine optimism surrounding the Jets this term. There have a new home-grown product on the coach’s bench in Craig Deans, while their numerous teenage players are starting to really find their feet after a couple of years adjusting to the pace of the Westfield W-League.
Best of all are their early results this season. They started with a hard-fought scoreless draw at champions Perth Glory, and last weekend knocked off Melbourne Victory on their own patch for just their second win over the Victorians in 11 attempts.
In many ways the Wanderers mirror the Jets. They have a young team that are showing genuine signs of promise, but are perhaps a year behind the Jets in terms of development.
What is in no doubt is the Wanderers fighting spirit, which was on display once again last weekend in a hard-fought 2-1 derby loss to Sydney FC. That followed a gritty 2-2 draw at Adelaide United in the opening weekend.
On the debit side is a season-long injury to skipper Caitlin Cooper who suffered a fractured tibia whilst on Westfield Matildas duty recently in China. It is a level of experience that the Wanderers can ill-afford to lose given the many rookies on their roster.
Two evenly matches teams suggest quite a contest at Magic Park. With the Hyundai A-League playing up the road shortly after, it promises to be quite an afternoon for Novocastrian football aficionados.
Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 7 November 2015
Magic Park, Broadmeadow, Newcastle
Local kick-off: 2pm
Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #NEWvWSW
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Hannah Southwell (gk), 2. Sophie Nenadovic, 3. Georgia Yeoman-Dale, 4. Megan Oyster, 5.Caprice Dydasco, 6.Cassidy Davis, 7.Gema Simon (c), 8. Kobie Ferguson, 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Rhali Dobson, 12.Chloe Logarzo, 17. Jenna Kingsley, 18. Claire Wheeler, 19. Hannah Bromley, 20. Claire Coelho (gk)
Western Sydney Wanderers squad: Teagan Micah (gk), Carmelina Moscato, Chloe O’Brien, Eliza Ammendolia, Kendall Johnson, Rachael Soutar, Erica Halloway, Michelle Carney, Elizabeth Grey, Keelin Winters, Hannah Beard, Alix Roberts, Ellie Carpenter, Linda O’Neill, Jada Whyman (gk)
Unavailable: Caitlin Cooper (leg – season)