After stunning Melbourne on Sunday evening, and picking up the first point Newcastle had ever claimed against the three-time W-League champions, Newcastle’s first-round hero Teigan Collister says the team has faith anything can happen this season.
“It was just a really good game to start off the season, we didn’t win the game, but we were just talking in our analysis unit that it did feel like we had,” she said.
“Even after the game some of our supporters who stuck around said it looked like we were really playing cohesively, which was really nice to hear because we’ve been working that for the past month, and in our first game it came together.
“There’s been a lot of talk around the team, but you never know what’s going to happen, and we really proved that in the last game. Everything that we’ve been focusing on came together. It shows our hard work can pay off.”
Collister, who admitted she was mildly surprised when her rangefinding chance slammed into the back of the net to cancel out Emily van Egmond’s similar wonder-strike, said the team knows they’re playing from behind, and they don’t mind.
“The general consensus before we even started training was that we knew we were going to be a bit of an underdog, and everyone has bought into that, everyone wants to achieve, we don’t mind how it comes,” the Jets number 25 said.
Their next test, and another chance to earn that pleasing result against the odds, comes against Western Sydney this Friday evening. Add to that there’s a short turnaround, and it’s a mixing pot of challenges. Teigan is still confident though.
“I think it will be another tough game, and Cortnee is there from Newcastle… it will be similar [to City], they always put up a really good fight, and I think it will be a really good challenge, but hopefully, we can come out with a win,” she said.
“[Bankwest] is pretty different from No.2, this is more of a community field and it’s always really packed. We’ve played at McDonald Jones though, and I’m assuming Bankwest will be similar to that, so we’ll draw on that.”
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Collister also pointed to the W-League’s relatively short fourteen-round format, which even sees each team land with a bye throughout the four-month regular season. Because there’s so few chances for wins, every point matters.
“It’s a really short season, you don’t have any time to mess around, you have to take each game as it comes and get into it straight away,” she explained. “There’s no time to take it slow and hope everything comes together, you have to go hard from the start.”
That’s not to say the ladies in red-and-blue will go bullocking into Bankwest desperately aiming to knock over the team that scored a victory in the first round. They’re still tempering expectations, Collister said.
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“Deansy said to us before training that obviously the win was really exciting to start off the season, but said we have to not get too carried away in our performances, every week will be different and we have to take every game as it comes,” she said.
“We’ll have one or two more sessions before Friday’s game, and we have to be very focused on putting in a high-intensity and everything we have from the get-go.”