W-League: Academy graduates earn contracts

Newcastle Jets are pleased to announce the promotion of three players from the Academy to Westfield W-League contracts for the upcoming 2018/19 season.

Youngsters Renee Pountney, Paige Kingston-Hogg, and Tessa Tamplin have all signed contracts with the Club and will push hard for a spot in the starting XI in 2018/19.

All three have been developed in the country’s only Westfield W-League Academy, and are all a real shot at seeing serious game time this season.

Renee Pountney has signed a full contract after working through the ranks in the Club’s Academy since U-14s, and has punched above her weight in the U-19s side over the past two years.

The versatile wide player trained with the Westfield W-League last season, an experience which held her in good stead and helped earn her first ever professional contract.

“Renee is a good person, a hard worker, she fits in well with the rest of the group,” Westfield W-League Head Coach, Craig Deans said.

“It was an easy one, and a good reward for her. Some of the girls, like Renee and Tessa, have been there four, five, six years and working hard.”

Tessa Tamplin is another player who has plied her trade in the Jets Academy since a young age, and she’s signed a scholarship contract for the upcoming season.

The full-back also spent the season with the U-19s side playing in the NPL NSW Women’s with the Emerging Jets and held her own at every turn, improving in leaps and bounds along the way.

“Tess has gotten better as the season went on, and she deserves a go,” Deans said.

“She can play a couple of different positions as well… but primarily as a full-back.”

Paige Kingston-Hogg was signed to the Jets Academy following a glowing recommendation from a local WPL coach who had seen her in action.

The South Wallsend junior is a prime example of the talent in the breeding ground that is the WPL, and along with Tamplin has earned a scholarship contract for the upcoming season.

“Paige was playing local league last year for South Wallsend, she came in and trialled last summer for the U-19 girls, so she came into the Academy last year for the first time,” Deans said.

“Every time a new challenge came, she took it and she held her own or exceeded expectations. She can play centre-back, midfield, she’s very versatile.

“All three of these girls could make their W-League debuts this season, they have the potential. I’m sure if the opportunity comes up through an injury or through them pushing at training, they’ll get a chance.”

Deans said it was a good indication of the hard work from both the Academy coaching staff and the players themselves.

“It’s good for the Academy girls to see that if they perform to that level then they’ll get a chance. There’ll be opportunities for people to step up, and if they’re good enough they’ll get a chance,” Deans said.

“Sometimes some of the academy kids can get frustrated, because it takes a long time and a lot of hard work to get to that professional level. Girls in the U-19s just need to keep working hard, the next step is the Westfield W-League.”