The Newcastle Jets have well and truly bought into Craig Deans’ vision for a darkhorse shot at the finals, energised by team chemistry and hungry local talent, captain Cassidy Davis said ahead of the team’s second-round clash with the Wanderers.
After a gritty 1-1 draw with star-studded Melbourne City on Sunday evening, the Jets have laid out their blueprint for success in the 2019/20 W-League season.
While the rearguard action from Newcastle against their southern rivals which saw them score a valuable point surprised many W-League fans, Davis explained to Danny and Jen on 1233 ABC Newcastle that it was all part of the plan.
That’s something we’ve been working on in our four weeks of pre-season, playing as a team,” Davis said on the morning talk show.
“Having some younger girls there, some local talent, no big-names or Americans, Deansy has definitely driven into us that we need to work hard and we need to work for each other,” the Newcastle co-captain added.
Davis also admitted that the defensive focus against Melbourne isn’t the only way that the Jets will be heading into games either.
With head coach Deans an old-hat in the W-League, and new eyes in the coaching staff like Women’s Premier League championship coach Keelan Hamilton, the team will adapt to the league’s challenges week-to-week.
“We’ll take the positives from the game against City into the game against Western Sydney this weekend, but the way we play may change a little will depend on what Deansy and the coaching staff have seen of the Wanderers,” she said.
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After facing off against international stars like Ellie Carpenter and former teammate Emily van Egmond last weekend, Davis and the Jets again have another squad dripping with top-level W-League talent.
Chief among them are returning international duo Lynn Williams and Denise O’Sullivan, while US stars Kristen Hamilton and Abby Smith, and rising young Matildas Kyra Cooney-Cross and Amy Harrison all lend weight to the side.
The Jets will also come face to face with a former teammate for the second week in a row, as Western Sydney convert Cortnee Vine prepares to play her second game for the Wanderers, and her first at Bankwest Stadium.
“It’ll be another tough game,” Davis admitted, “but I think each game we have will be as tough as the one before it and hopefully we can work towards getting three points.
“Obviously they’ve made some really good signings, they’ve got three players from the NWSL champions [North Carolina Courage], Cortnee Vine who came from us last year, so we know a lot about what those players can do.”
The Jets kickoff against the Wanderers at 5pm on Friday, November 22. The match is part of a W-League and A-League doubleheader that will see Western Sydney face Melbourne City after the women’s clash.