In the latest Westfield W-League team preview we look at Newcastle Jets' hopes after they narrowly missed the finals last term.
The Jets, not for the first time, are flying under the radar ahead of the upcoming season. The might be light on for headline names, but it will be a surprise if the Jets are not a competitive unit.
Much will depend on the impact of the imports, and their ability to replace last year’s outgoing trio. New coach Craig Deans – himself a popular long-serving member of the Newcastle Jets backline in years gone by - has opted for a pair of American defenders in Megan Oyster and Caprice Dydasco.
Both hail from Washington Spirit, where the club enjoyed a highly successful NWSL campaign, and they replace three former imports also from the USA capital club; Katherine Reynolds Angela Salem and Victoria Huster.
‘‘I want people with a good mentality and attitude, who come out here because they want to improve themselves as footballers,’’ Deans said recently.
‘‘Also people with a good level of professionalism to make sure they’re coming in as the main players. I want the younger girls to learn from them.’’
The biggest loss is undoubtedly Westfield Matildas star and Novocastrian Emily van Egmond. The silky-skilled midfielder was rewarded for a stellar showing at Canada 2015 with a contract at European champions FFC Frankfurt.
There is, however, some cavalry arriving to bolster the midfield, none more so than returning fans' favourite Gema Simon following a spell at Melbourne Victory. Young gun Chloe Logarzo has also arrived from Sydney FC, while under-rated former Young Matildas forward Jenna Kingsley will also don the red and blue shirt this season.
Forwards Tara Andrews and Rhali Dobson are back for yet another season, after strong goalscoring campaigns last term. Also still at the Jets are a host of youngsters who are finally gathering experience at Westfield W-League, including the likes of Libby Copus-Brown, Claire Coelho and Cassidy Davis.
Ins: Megan Oyster (Washington Spirit, USA), Gema Simon (Melbourne Victory), Chloe Logarzo (Sydney FC), Jenna Kingsley (Western Sydney Wanderers), Kobie Ferguson (Emerging Jets), Ashlee Brodigan (Emerging Jets), Caprice Dydasco (Washington Spirit, USA), Hannah Bromley (Northbridge FC, NSW), Adriana Jones (Central Coast Mariners, NSW)
Outs: Hayley Crawford (injured), Ashley Spina (Brisbane Roar), Katherine Reynolds (Washington Spirit, USA), Angela Salem (Washington Spirit, USA), Victoria Huster (Washington Spirit, USA), Amber Neilson (retired), Emily van Egmond (FFC Frankfurt, Germany), Grace Macintyre (injured), Emma Stanbury (Manly United, NSW), Renee Rudder (Moreton Bay United, Queensland)