Newcastle Jets coach Craig Deans says Tara Andrews and Gema Simon are set to return stronger after re-signing for the upcoming Westfield W-League 2018/19 campaign.
The two experienced campaigners are back in the Hunter this season looking to hit top form after a rigorous 2017/18 season.
“Tara is a quality player in the final third and Gema likes to get forward and attack from the backline, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can both offer us this season,” Deans told the official Newcastle Jets website.
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“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.”
The pair both played six games each for Newcastle last season, as Andrews returned from a year away from football, while Simon’s season was heavily impacted 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, showcasing why she’s one of the region’s premier players.
In her 16 appearances for the club, she netted 17 goals and finished as the second-highest goalscorer in the competition.
Simon was limited to six games in Jets colours last season due to 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.