Jets W-League kicks off today

Extract here of The Womens Game preview of the Newcastle Jets W-League as season four is kicked off.

The Women's Game compiled a Season Four preview of the W-League, extracted here is the Jets preview.

Overall Preview

The Newcastle Jets have been a very busy Club in the off-season with several big signings joining from the coach down. Former Socceroo Clayton Zane leads the Jets this season with former Matilda Joey Peters as his assistant.

After a semi-final berth in their first season, Newcastle has struggled in subsequent seasons. As a result, this season the playing group has also undergone a revamp.

“The main focus when I took over was trying to form a good back bone to the team through the centre of the park,” Zane said.

Well he certainly has that now. Matildas captain and goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri was announced, shortly after so too was Matildas teammate Lisa De Vanna as well as dual World Cup winner Ariane Hingst and Novacastrian Emily van Egmond.

All this new talent signifies a change in the playing style of the Jets. With De Vanna, van Egmond in the front third alongside Young Matildas Linda O-Neill, Nicola Bolger and last season-s club top scorer Tara Andrews, look for a more attacking, faster transitioning Jets outfit.

“With our players comes a little bit of attacking talent but there needs to be balance,” Zane added.

“I am quite the believer in establishing a good base defensively but letting the attacking players have a role with a little bit of freedom. We have some players who we can afford that luxury with.”

The Strength

There is plenty of excitement surrounding the Newcastle Jets. Zane and his coaching staff were the most proactive recruiters of all Clubs approaching the W-League season and have gained the services of senior Matildas, Young Matildas and a World Cup winner. Most importantly the changes are in the spine of the team. Barbieri, Hingst, van Egmond, De Vanna. Not a bad core at all and if they blend right, Newcastle could be a big threat to the rest of the W-League.

The Challenge

On last season-s form, the attack will need to score more and the defence will need to be tighter. They have the players to do both but with so many new faces and so little time for them to all prepare, Zane and his coaching staff have a task ahead of them to combine several good individuals into a cohesive and productive unit.

The Keys

Emily van Egmond: A stunning talent, van Egmond has emerged in the last year to become a vital player in the national team. She is yet to really turn it on in the W-League but a newfound maturity could see all that change.

Melissa Barbieri: An experienced leader, Barbieri will be crucial in ensuring all the key elements work on and off the pitch.

Lisa De Vanna: It-s become a cliché but she really is an exciting player that can change a game with a touch, a turn or a goal. Several times last season she proved the match winner for Brisbane and could do so again for Newcastle.

In's and Out's this season

In's: Melissa BARBIERI (Melbourne Victory), Alanna KENNEDY, Nicola BOLGER, Linda O'NEILL (all Sydney FC), Emily VAN EGMOND (Canberra United), Lisa DE VANNA (magic Jack/USA, Brisbane Roar), Monnique KOFOED (Perth Glory), Stacey DAY (Adelaide United), Cassandra KOPPEN (Charlestown), Ariane HINGST (FFC Frankfurt/Germany). Outs: Allison LIPSHER (Sydney FC), Nicole CROSS (Boston Breakers), Amber NEILSON (retired), Sasha MCDONNELL (Brisbane Roar), Thea SLATYER (Sydney FC).

Today's game

Week 2: Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United Date: Saturday 29 October 2011 Venue: Adamstown Oval, Newcastle Local kick-off: 2pm

A reminder Newcastle Jets ticketed members are entitled to free entry to all W-League and Youth home games this season. You just need to show your member card at the gate.

For more information, visit The Womens Game website.