Jets finish strong and look toward next season

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A consistently unfortunate run of injuries to a number of key players prevented the Jets from fulfilling their full potential in 2018/19. Despite this, Newcastle have finished their campaign strongly, and already have a keen eye on next season.

There was a bittersweet feeling amongst the crowd in Newcastle’s 4-1 win against the Western Sydney Wanderers at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday night. Craig Deans acknowledged that it’s easy to imagine what could have been under better circumstances.

“It’s a good way to finish the season. It’s always nice to finish with a win,” Deans said.

“I think if we were able to keep the four players that we lost, maybe we could be in a different position.”

Even with the absence of Emily van Egmond, Taylor Smith, Katie Stengel, and Larissa Crummer, the younger players have risen to the occasion.

“At the same time, we’ve won three of the last four games without the injured players,” Deans said.

Tessa Tamplin was the hero on Saturday when she opened the scoring on her second start in the W-League with a tidy and calmly executed one-on-one.

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Tara Andrews, Teigan Collister, and Cortnee Vine also made their way onto the scoresheet on Saturday, and this strong finish to the season by these players have given Deans plenty to think about for the next campaign.

“Next season started four weeks ago for us, because it’s an opportunity for the players who weren’t getting game time to show me that they have something that can change my mind about their place in the team. They’ve all done that,” Deans said.

This was only the second time the Jets have played at No. 2 Sportsground this season. Deans has praised the atmosphere of the smaller and more intimate venue before, and noted how influential a good crowd atmosphere can be.

“Crowds make a huge difference and we are super fortunate that we get the amount of support that we do. The girls really appreciate it. It’s a great atmosphere.”

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The closeness of the crowd to the sideline allowed for a nice moment of interaction between Deans and the crowd when his ballboy skills were put to the test.

“It’s nice because the crowd gets into it. They’re close to the game and it makes a difference when the girls get into attacking positions or make last ditch tackles.”

The Jets will be pleased with their strong finish to the season, but are looking to achieve more and build on their team spirit to be a more menacing threat next season.

“Not playing in the finals is a shame because it would be nice to get a home final here and have four or five thousand people turn up. That’s something that we want to aim for next year.”

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Harry Keating
Intern at The Football Sack covering The Newcastle Jets A-League and W-League home matches!