The contrast for these two teams last season could not have been starker, however, a few months can be a long time in football.
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Saturday 13 September 2014
Magic Park, Newcastle
Local kick-off: 11am
The Jets remained grounded all of last season failing to collect a single win, while Victory stormed to a historic maiden championship.
Yet Newcastle have strengthened significantly while Melbourne have lost key personnel in some areas, meaning the result of the Westfield W-League is harder to predict than many might imagine.
The Jets have most notably been boosted by the arrival of returning hometown favourite Emily van Egmond. There is also the arrival of three well-regarded Americans – Tori Huster, Angela Salem and Katherine Reynolds – while Hayley Crawford and Amber Neilson have both been coaxed out of retirement. Throw in an impressive frontline of Tara Andrews, Rhali Dobson, and speedy Matildas youngster Georgia Yeoman-Dale, and Novocastrians have genuine cause of optimism.
The Victory, for their part, head to Newcastle with a much-changed squad following the departure of some ten players. The primary name to exit through the departure lounge is Wales skipper Jessica Fishlock, with Swede Jessica Samuelsson and New Zealander Katie Hoyle also not returning, nor is team stalwart Caitlin Friend.
Americans Lauren Barnes and Elli Reed will not arrive for a fortnight, with the latter having won the NWSL premiership with Seattle Reign. There is a new coach too in Joe Montemurro and interest will undoubtedly focus on whether the team take time to find momentum under their new mentor. Adding extra spice to this clash in Broadmeadow is the return of new Victory signings Hannah Brewer and Gema Simon who both spent many years with the Jets.
Newcastle Jets squad: 2. Georgia Yeoman-Dale, 3. Hayley Crawford, 4. Ashley Spina, 5. Katherine Reynolds, 6. Angela Salem, 7. Tori Huster, 8. Amber Neilson, 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Emily van Egmond, 11. Rhali Dobson, 15. Libby Copus-Brown, 16. Cassidy Davis, 17. Grace Macintyre, 20. Claire Coelho (GK), 21. Renee Rudder (GK)
Season ins: Hayley Crawford (returns from retirement), Tori Huster (Western Sydney Wanderers, Washington Spirit/USA), Amber Neilson (returns from retirement), Katherine Reynolds (Western New York Flash/USA), Renee Rudder (Sunshine Coast FC/Queensland), Angela Salem (Western New York Flash/USA), Emily Van Egmond (Western Sydney Wanderers, Chicago Red Stars/USA) Georgia Yeoman-Dale (Canberra United)
Seasons outs: Siahn Bozanic, Lauren Brown, Ainsley Buchanan, Eliza Campbell, Stacey Day (injury - ACL), Gema Simon (Melbourne Victory), Hannah Brewer (Melbourne Victory), Hannah Beard (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Unavailable: Hannah Southwell (overseas), Sophie Nenadovic (hip)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Brianna DAVEY (GK), 2. Hannah BREWER, 6. Gema SIMON, 7. Stephanie CATLEY (C), 8. Amy JACKSON, 9. Racheal QUIGLEY, 10. Christine NAIRN, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 12. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 14. Tiffany ELIADIS, 15. Emma CHECKER, 16. Beatrice GOAD, 17. Gulcan KOCA, 19. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 20. Cassandra DIMOVSKI (GK)
Seasons ins: Elli Reed (Seattle Reign/USA), Lauren Barnes (Seattle Reign/USA), Christine Nairn (Washington Spirit/USA), Hannah Brewer (Newcastle Jets), Gema Simon (Newcastle Jets), Racheal Quigley (Adelaide United), Amy Jackson (uncontracted)
Season outs: Jessica Fishlock (Seattle Reign/USA), Jessica Samuelsson (Linkopings/Sweden), Katie Hoyle (Notts County /England), Jessica Humble, Cindy Lay, Enza Barilla, Caitlin Friend (Notts County/England), Ashley Brown (injury), Emily Hulbert, Laura Spiranovic
Unavailable: Lauren Barnes (overseas - 2 weeks), Elli Reed (overseas - 2 weeks)
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