Sunday’s draw with Melbourne City was a landmark point for the Newcastle Jets, who were unfancied heading into the season-opening clash.
It was the first time a Newcastle side had ever taken a point away from City in eight Westfield W-League encounters, and it could have been three if not for a string of City saves throughout the second half.
The atmosphere at No.2 Sportsground was electric, the crowd whipped into a frenzy as a determined Newcastle side gave their all in front of a passionate crowd.
Speaking to Dan and Jenny on 1233 ABC Newcastle this Wednesday morning, co-captain Cassidy Davis said that togetherness had been driven from the top.
“That’s something we’ve been working on in our four weeks of pre-season, playing as a team,” Davis said.
“Having some younger girls there, some local talent, no big-names or Americans, Deansy has definitely driven into us that we need to work hard and we need to work for each other.”
One of the big talking points in the lead-up to the match was the comparative strength of the two sides – Melbourne City bolstered by more than half a dozen current internationals.
Former Newcastle Jet, Emily van Egmond, who made the move south during the off-season is one of those current internationals and much was made of her involvement on opening night.
“She’s a good player, she plays for her country and does well for the Matildas, so it’s obviously a challenge for us to play against someone like Emily and a lot of the other players in that team,” Davis said.
“It’s exciting to be up against a player like that, she scored a goal but other than that we held her a little bit. Libby [Copus-Brown] and Clare [Wheeler] did a good job against Emily.”
A different challenge presents itself this weekend, with Newcastle heading to Western Sydney to take on the Wanderers on Friday night.
To go from the packed, suburban venue that was No.2 Sportsground to a cavernous, hi-tech arena like Bankwest Stadium may be a jolting change for the Jets.
Western Sydney opened their season with a win, 2-1 in injury time over Adelaide United, last Thursday night.
“We’ll take the positives from the game against Melbourne City into the game against Western Sydney this weekend, but the way we play may change a little will depend on what Deansy and the coaching staff have seen of the Wanderers,” Davis said.
“Obviously they’ve made some really good signings, they’ve got three players from the NWSL champions (North Carolina Courage), Cortnee Vine who came from us last year, so we know a lot about what those players can do.
“It’ll be another tough game, but I think that each game we have will be as tough as the one before it and hopefully we can work towards getting three points.”