The Newcastle Jets are looking to bring more local flavour to the W-League in their 2019/20 campaign, head coach Craig Deans has confirmed.
Following the departure of former captain and Matildas star Emily van Egmond, Newcastle fans were eagerly awaiting news of who would step up to fill the gap left in the midfield and the squad. Now the club has revealed next season’s plans.
“We’re going to field a team predominantly made up of Newcastle girls,” Deans revealed during the club’s announcement that they were retaining 15 players.
“I’m confident they’ll do well in the Westfield W-League this season. Our focus this season will be on Australian players, particularly local talent. We’ve got a nice mix of youth and experience, there’s a great harmony amongst the group.”
Chief among the returning veterans are FIFA World Cup star Gema Simon, as well as W-League stalwarts Cassidy Davis and Hannah Brewer, who boast more than 170 appearances in the domestic league between them.
Women’s Premier League golden boot recipients Tara Andrews and Jenna Kinsgley bolster the team’s offensive stock, while defensive superstar Larissa Crummer has confirmed she will also be remaining in Newcastle following her injury last season.
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Deans has also confirmed a host of off-season signings, including Australian under-20 representatives Nicki Flannery and Annabel Martin, and explosive Premier League winger Lauran Allan, who notched 33 goals in 24 appearances as she helped guide New Lambton to their first premiership in the regional competition.
In the category of familiar faces for Jets fans, Libby Copus-Brown, Sophie Nenadovic, and Clare Wheeler are also set to return, while young goalkeeper Claire Coelho will lead the team’s rearguard group as she continues her Newcastle career.
The squad also boasts a handful of youngsters who are looking to cement their place in the W-League, including 2018/19 debutants Teigan Collister and Pana Petratros, as well as Academy graduates Renee Poutney, Tessa Tamplin, and Paige Kingston-Hogg.
“The fans saw at the back end of last year just what our younger players especially were able to do when we had a few out, and I think that certainly bodes well for the year ahead,” Deans said of the young roster he’s entering for the season.
“It’s that kind of enthusiasm and determination we’ll be looking for again this season, and combined with a number of senior heads in our side, we’re confident we’ll field a competitive side this year and cause a lot of headaches for teams.”
Deans and the Jets began their pre-season training this week, in preparation for the competition proper beginning in mid-November. The official fixture list for the premier women’s tournament has yet to be released by the FFA.
Newcastle Jets W-League 2019/20 squad
Goalkeepers: Claire Coelho.
Defenders: Hannah Brewer, Cassidy Davis, Gema Simon, Tessa Tamplin, Annabel Martin.
Midfielders: Libby Copus-Brown, Paige Kingston-Hogg, Sophie Nenadovic, Clare Wheeler.
Forwards: Tara Andrews, Teigan Collister, Jenna Kingsley, Pana Petratos, Renee Pountney, Larissa Crummer, Lauren Allan, Nicki Flannery.