Newcastle Jets had a highly disappointing campaign last season but the return of ‘prodigal daughter’ Emily van Egmond heads an impressive list of arrivals and suggests the Novocastrians are ready to fly high again.
Though still only 21, Van Egmond has already turned out in the colours of eight different clubs, including spells in the United States and Denmark. Her arrival last week after another stint Stateside with Chicago Red Stars marks Van Egmond’s third return to hometown club Newcastle Jets.
And although her pre-season preparation with the Jets has been limited, Van Egmond says she has benefitted from her time in the US. “It’s a great league to be a part of,” she says. “It features some of the best players in the world so to have that opportunity is great.
“The training sessions are so intense and I feel like I come back sharper. They have a real interest in Aussie players so that is a great thing too.”
Newcastle propped up the league last season with an inexperienced side going through the season without earning a win, but Van Egmond is predicting an improved showing by a Jets side which this season has a healthy mix of youth and experience.
“We have three American internationals joining us, and the likes of Tara Andrews, Hayley Crawford and also Amber Neilson which I think will be a massive boost for us with that experience she has. With the young players I think we will have a really good core base of players. The experience the younger players got last year will put them in good stead for this year.”
Van Egmond has been a key member of the Matildas squad for several years now, and follows in the footsteps of father Gary who turned out in the Green & Gold with distinction as a pacy and mobile central defender during the 1990 FIFA World Cup campaign.
Needless to say the Van Egmonds – much like Socceroo Jason Davidson and famous father Allan – are in regular contact to discuss all things football.
“We speak about football all the time,” says Van Egmond. “If there is something I think he can help me with I go to him of course. Its good now being back in Newcastle so if there is something I can directly to him.
“We can always go down to the local park and work on what I need to work on. And there is always something.”