Disrupted preparation leads to disappointing result for Jets

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The Newcastle Jets were further plagued by COVID-19 isolations, injuries and a gastro bug leading to a disrupted game preparation.

After a number of quick turn arounds and breaking a five-game unbeaten streak, the Jets had everything to play for against Melbourne Victory.

Their disrupted preparation, however, resulted in several of Newcastle’s key players sitting out of Tuesday’s game.

Notably missing were Tara Andrews, Hannah Brewer and Sunny Franco with powerhouse Marie Dolvik coming off the bench late in the game.

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Following their 1-0 loss at home, Jets head coach Ash Wilson said it had been a challenging week for the side.

“It was probably quite noticeable that we had a few people missing and on the bench,” she said.

“We had a couple of girls go into isolation due to COVID related issues and we also had about four girls yesterday with a gastro bug.”

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Despite the less-than-ideal preparation and resulting loss to Victory, Wilson was proud of how the team rose to the challenge.

“I couldn’t fault the girls in terms of their effort, their mentality and their character,” she said.

“We’re still seeing some players struggling with the effects of COVID so honestly it was a challenging week, but I was pleased with how they conducted themselves.

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With Andrews and Brewer out for COVID related reasons, it was also a surprise to everyone that key play maker Dolvik started off the bench.

The Norwegian international has been a powerhouse player for the Jets but the pandemic has not been kind.

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“Starting her on the bench was about preservation,” Wilson said.

“We had about 15 or 16 players that were affected by COVID and Marie was one of them.

“It is still something that she’s found to be quite impacting on her ability to perform and we felt it would be in her best interest to get her some good minutes at the end of the game and reassess on Sunday against Sydney.

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“We wanted to make sure we weren’t overloading her and obviously thinking about squad rotation for Sunday and who will be available.

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Also missing from Tuesday night’s clash was Franco, after it was announced the morning of the match that she had sustained a long-term ankle injury and would most likely not return for the remainder of the season.

Wilson said her presence on the pitch would be missed.

“Sunny is a fantastic player in our team,” she said.

“She has a fantastic character and she’s got so much energy when she comes on the field.

“You get 100% from her all the time so her presence on the field is going to be missed.”

After a disappointing result, the Jets will be looking to redeem themselves against Sydney FC on Sunday.

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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