Clayton Zane takes a look back at the highlights of his team's W-League season.
As the 2011/12 Newcastle Jets W-League season comes to a close, I can-t help but focus on the positives that we can take out of this season. Regardless of missing out on a top four spot, we had a great season!
One of our main highlights, with regards to performance and results, was our game against Brisbane Roar in Round Three. We managed to defeat one of the strongest teams in the competition 3-2 at their home ground. The girls displayed real hunger and some quality football early in the season, which was evident in this game.
Another stand out match for us this season was our New Years Eve game. Again, playing away from home, we stole the victory 2-1 from the top four veterans, Sydney FC.
The girls played to the death during this match and deserved every bit of that win. It was the second season in a row we were able to upset Sydney at home and I only hope we can make a hat trick out of it next season.
This season we had a few surprise packages with some of our players. Rahli Dobson became an unexpected starter to our team outfit and played exceptionally well all season.
Gemma Pearce stepped it up and made the starting sheet quite often. Providing the opportunity for some of the younger team members to play this year was a great advantage, creating depth within the squad and helping to shape not only their future as a player, but the future for the club as well.
Lastly, and probably the biggest positive to take out of this season would be the support we received from our fans. Our home crowd numbers were the highest they have ever been, averaging about 700 supporters at every home game. Having that encouragement and support, week in week out, was a tremendous feeling for the whole team.
My predictions for the remainder of the 2011/12 season are that even though Sydney FC looks the best on paper, Canberra United has been the most consistent and in my opinion, the best team all season. A Grand Final between Canberra and Sydney is on the cards and I-m anticipating an upset with Canberra destined to steal the win.
As for our off-season, we will hopefully get a little down time and then be back into the swing of things. Most of the girls will be playing local club football under the Newcastle Jets banner which will be good preparation for them heading into next season.