With the season now at a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, our valued Members for your continued support this season.
To eclipse our Membership record and finish the season with 11,694 Members is an achievement we can all be proud of, and it speaks volumes for the strides we’ve made together over the last three years.
Then, despite our season being run and done last weekend, you made your presence felt in our final home game with more than 10,000 fans cheering the boys on at McDonald Jones Stadium.
On the pitch things haven’t played out how we had hoped, and we’re all disappointed to be watching the Final Series from the sidelines, but there is plenty to be excited about here in Newcastle.
As we look ahead to next season, I can confirm that we have 18 players signed in the first team squad for 2019/20 – well ahead of the majority of Hyundai A-League clubs.
Now it’s about taking the time to find those couple of quality players that can fill gaps in our squad and we’re working hard to find the right personnel to help propel us back up the table.
We’ll also be adding some scholarship players to the squad, as we continue to develop players from our Academy through to the first team.
We’ve seen the rise of Jack Simmons following his debut in Brisbane, the recent announcement of Pat Langlois’ contract upgrade and Angus Thurgate breaking into the starting XI to finish this season.
These boys are the product of pathways we’re creating and are joined by Academy graduates Tessa Tamplin, Renee Pountney and Paige Kingston-Hogg who played their part in the Westfield W-League this season.
Our Academy continues to develop the next generation of footballers, with 19 girls and 6 boys identified by our national teams for training camps and the potential of higher honours.
We’ve already seen the likes of Jack Simmons, Angus Thurgate, Joe Champness, Ivan Vujica and Johnny Koutroumbis on the international stage with Emily van Egmond and Gema Simon also in the frame for FIFA Women’s World Cup.
This spells exciting things for football in the Hunter – which like all good things will take time – but it’s safe to say the future is bright.
So while the disappointment of the season gone can’t be ignored, we’re already working to turn things around. I know Ernie and the playing group will be doing their all to repay the faith you’ve showed them this season.
We’ll continue to keep you informed on developments within the squad as the preseason gets underway and the Club will share all the details on 2019/20 Membership as their finalised.
Thanks again for your support, I look forward to seeing you in season 2019/20.