It’s been a long two weeks, but FINALLY the Newcastle Jets are back in action in the Westfield W-League.
The prime-time Saturday night fixture will see Newcastle welcome Canberra, in a match which has been moved to McDonald Jones Stadium.
W-LEAGUE: Five things to know ahead of Canberra
Newcastle got their season underway back on Thursday 1 November with a loss to the Victory in Melbourne, but it wasn’t without it’s highlights.
Cortnee Vine grabbed her first Westfield W-League goal, Katie Stengel looked impervious on the ball, and Emily van Egmond ran the midfield.
Taylor Smith impressed on debut, while Britt Eckerstrom was immense in front of goal, making a number of crucial stops.
For Canberra, they’ll be looking to take all three points back to the nation’s capital and continue what has been a good start to the season.
They beat the reigning champions, Melbourne City in the opening round of the season before a thrilling 4-4 draw with Perth in Round 2.
The big story ahead of this weekend is the return from suspension of defender, Hannah Brewer.
She’ll add depth to a backline which looked solid despite defeat in Melbourne, but there are other question marks around just what that back four will look like.
Larissa Crummer is out after twinging an existing quad injury in the defeat to Melbourne, an injury which kept her out of the recent Westfield Matildas squad.
Two players who did link up with the national team recently are Jets co-captains Emily van Egmond and Gema Simon.
The former featured heavily in both matches against Chile, while Simon started on home soil for the best part of an hour on Tuesday night.
Their exploits in Australian green and gold will have no doubt invigorated the pair, so after a couple of days of rest and recuperation expect two high-quality performances on Saturday night.
From the coach
"It's been an on and off start, with the bye and then the Melbourne game followed by the international window – so it feels like forever since we played," Ash Wilson said.
"It's been a long preseason for us and the girls are just itching to play.
"With Em and Gema in the [Matildas] squad and the match [against Chile] being in Newcastle, will help the girls a good start to their recovery. We'll monitor how they pull up after the game and manage their loads appropriately into Saturday.
"Larissa has re-strained a quad injury that she sustained when over in the UK with the Matildas, and our physio and the national team have been working together on her rehab program, but she won't be playing with us this weekend.
"They're [Canberra] are a bit of an unpredictable side, they've scored a lot of goals. We need to be mindful in terms of our defence, but we're focused on what we do with plenty of positive things to build on following the Melbourne game."
The Jets Round 3 clash of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 season is on Saturday 17 November at McDonald Jones Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:30pm (ADST), with the match steamed live on foxsports.com.au and the MyFootball App.