Newcastle Jets 2020/21 W-League season preview

-

After receiving the wooden spoon last season, the Newcastle Jets are looking to stir the pot and serve up a fresh new team of talent, experience and goal scorers.

Last season…
W-League: 9th
Finals: Did not qualify 

They will win the league because… 

A montage of elite talent was recruited in the off-season from the National Premier League and the W-League, bringing to the pitch a combination of experience, versatility and depth to the squad. 

New signing Jemma House will be a dangerous and vital piece to the Jets. The 24-year-old joins the side after finishing her 2020 campaign in the Newcastle WPL with Newcastle Olympic FC as the top goal scorer with a formidable tally of 31.

Consider House’s confidence in front of the net and the retaining of legendary forward Tara Andrews, the duo have the ability to unravel their opposition’s defence and cause distress in the attacking third.

Additionally, new head coach Ash Wilson could be the fresh start needed to make this a game changing season. Wilson carries the experience as assistant coach to former head coach Craig Deans. Her idealistic attitude and well-rounded knowledge may see the club leave the wooden spoon behind. 

Embed from Getty Images

They’ll be cellar dwellers because… 

A week out from the season’s launch and there is still uncertainty around the starting XI. The mass exodus of players including integral midfielders like Libby Copus-Brown and Clare Wheeler has left a lot of team rebuilding to occur over the pre-season. 

While versatility is a step in the right direction for the Jets, the open roles and many players putting their hands up to fill the spot indicates they have not yet found a stable and working formation. If the season start is too experimental with structural changes, it may create inconsistencies throughout the year.

With the weight of last year’s disappointing finish on their backs, the first few rounds will question how quickly the new team can gel together to create results. 

The off-season brought… 

News signings. New coach.

Newcastle have assembled nine recruits including former Western Sydney Wanderers midfielders Rhianna Policing and Alisha Brass. As well as defender Tiana Jabar.

The experience in the league will help Sydney NPL products Evelyn Chronis and Sophie Harding adapt to the uptempo game.

Embed from Getty Images

Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information
They are in the midst of building an unstoppable goal scoring machine. This season they have nabbed various players with high-tallied scoresheets to their name. House walked away from her Newcastle WPL season as Player of the Year, due to the 39 goals she scored.
Harding was also North West Sydney’s leading goal scorer Sydney WPL. While fan favourites Andrew and Brewer have scored 36 goals within their 190 played W-League games.

Key player

The long-serving Jets staple Tara Andrews. The Newcastle-born forward made her debut in the 2009/10 season at the age of 15 and has since developed her lethal right foot. Last season she converted 11 shots on target into five goals. 

Andrews is a rare attacker who knows how to place herself into goal scoring positions. Her ability to manoeuvre in the box will be an important asset for Newcastle’s midfield. Wilson has made a point this season to ease the burden off the star striker and is looking to create various channels to feed the ball through. 

The 26-year-old’s maturity and leadership throughout her years with the Jets will help build the team’s current acquisitions. 

One to watch

The technical 23-year-old Sunny Franco. The attacking midfielder has an extensive history with the W-League and the NPL. She’s signed on with the Jets bringing vision, pace and confidence on the ball. 

Franco is another powerhouse comfortable in front of goal. Over her playing career, she has attributed to various goals, including in an Australian U20s match against Singapore with a double hat trick.

This season the former Australian youth international will be one to watch on the scoresheets, particularly when linking with other quality scorers like Allan and Brewer.

Embed from Getty Images

INS: Chloe O’Brien, Sunny Franco, Rhianna Pollicina, Alisha Bass, Evelyn Chronis, Sophie Harding, Tiana Jaber, Taren King, Jemma House

OUTS: Libby Copus-Brown, Clare Wheeler, Jenna Kingsley, Teigan Collister, Nicki Flannery, Renee Poutney, Paige Kingston-Hogg

Full squad list 

Goalkeepers: Claire Coelho, Nicole Simonsen

Defenders: Hannah Brewer, Tiana Jaber, Taren King, Annabel Martin, Sophie Nenadovic, Gema Simon, Tessa Tamplin

Midfielders: Alisha Bass, Cassidy Davis, Sunny Franco, Chloe O’Brien Panagiota Petratos, Rhianna Pollicina

Forwards: Lauren Allan, Tara Andrews, Evelyn Chronis, Sophie Harding, Jemma House

Feature image credit: Sproule Sports Focus

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Latest Articles

Mariners face their biggest test yet

The Central Coast Mariners are flying west to take on the record-breaking Perth Glory as they vie to retain their position on top of...

Newcastle Jets out of finals race

Newcastle Jets are out of top four contention after losing 2-1 against Adelaide United at No.2 Sportsground on Friday afternoon.  The defeat for Newcastle left...
Jemma Pepper
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2020/21 season. Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (Germany) at the University of Technology Sydney. Seven days without playing football can make one weak!