Newcastle Jets A-League Women 2021/22 season preview

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After a disappointing eighth-place finish last season, Newcastle Jets will be looking to prove their doubters wrong by aiming for a spot in the finals.

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Last season…

A-League Women: 8th
Finals: Did Not Qualify

They’ll win the league because…

Despite an eighth-place finish last season, Newcastle Jets are brimming with talent. With the likes of former Young Matilda Bethany Gordon and Matilda Gema Simon, the Jets have plenty of experience and fresh blood in their ranks to make it to the top.

After a large number of new signings at the beginning of last season, the Jets have had plenty of time to gel as a team and work on their goal-scoring ability. This season, all their hard work will be put to the test.

The retaining of coach Ash Wilson will also keep the team on the right track. With stability in their ranks, plenty of enthusiasm and a keen work ethic, the Jets have all they need to dominate the competition this season.

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They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

Despite an incredible amount of talent and experience, the Jets have failed to capitalise on everything already going their way. Going only one better last season after receiving the wooden spoon in the 2019/20 season, the team have a lot of work to do.

With young talent coming through the ranks to join the team, there is also now a chance of inexperience and nerves taking over. The Jets will really have to work together and make the most of their experienced players to have a chance at a finals spot this season.

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Talk around the water cooler…look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information

Newcastle Jets coach Ash Wilson is the club’s first female A-League Women coach. Wilson took charge of the team last season after working alongside Craig Deans as assistant coach previously.

Wilson is one of only two female coaches in the national women’s league and is also head coach of the Jets Academy U20’s female squad.

The off-season brought

Re-signings.

Newcastle Jets have re-signed 11 members of their 2020/21 squad plus coach Ash Wilson. Both co-captains Cassidy Davis and Gema Simon have extended their contracts for this season, bringing to the team some much-needed experience and stability.

Along with coach Wilson, Davis and Simon will be looking to use their combined 21 seasons with the club to ignite the drive needed to make the finals this season.

Wilson has said that securing co-captain Davis was a key move for the club, with Simon’s re-signing being invaluable as she plays a key role in the team and the type of performance they will be looking to produce.

Key player

Gema Simon.

Going into her 13th season for the Jets, Gema Simon is a club veteran and was part of the Jets’ inaugural W-League squad in 2008/09. Simon has 138 W-League games to her name, making her the third highest appearance holder in the competition’s history.

With 11 caps for the Matildas under her belt, Simon has plenty of local and international experience that makes her a key player for the Jets. Outside of her time playing in Australia, she also has experience playing in Canada, Korea, and Norway.

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Head coach Ash Wilson is more than pleased to have Simon commit to another season with the club.

“To have Gem back on board for another season with the Jets is very pleasing,” Wilson said.

“She is our most capped W-League player, and her leadership and experience has been invaluable to this team both on and off the pitch.

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One to watch

Marie Markussen.

The 24-year-old Norwegian international joins the club, arriving from Valerenga where she recently won the Norwegian Women’s Cup Final in which she scored a goal.

The young winger has managed a commendable 33 goals from her professional career so far and has also made three appearances for the Norwegian national team. Markussen is also one of the very few A-League Women’s signings entering the league from overseas.

Jets head coach Wilson says Markussen brings experience, quality and versatility to the squad which will be key to consistent winning performance for the club. Markussen has also had success through the national Youth and Senior set ups in Norway and has played in the top leagues of Germany and Norway.

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“She is dynamic, likes to threaten defences with her pace, has an eye for goal, a great assist-ability and she is a fierce competitor,” said Wilson.

“I expect her addition will also increase the tempo, quality and competition within the training environment.”

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INS:

Bethany Gordon, Marie Markussen, Georgia Boric, Lucy Johnson, Kirsty Fenton, Sunny Franco

OUTS:

Tessa Tamplin, Rhianna Pollicina

Full Squad List

Goalkeepers: Georgia Boric, Claire Coelho

Defenders: Hannah Brewer, Kirsty Fenton, Gema Simon, Tiana Jaber

Midfielders: Cassidy Davis, Bethany Gordon, Taren King, Lucy Johnson, Josie Morley, Lara Gooch

Forwards: Lauren Allan, Tara Andrews, Sophie Harding, Jemma House, Marie Markussen, Sunny Franco

Feature image credit: Sproule Sports Focus

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Grace Clegg
Grace Clegg
Covering the Newcastle Jets for the 2021/22 season. Studying a Bachelor of Communication (News Media and PR) at the University of Newcastle. Coffee addict.

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