The Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League side will head to the Gold Coast on Thursday for two friendlies against the China national team.
In Australia for preparation for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, China are playing a number of matches including one against Canberra United last Thursday.
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With two games pencilled in at the Gold Coast’s cbus Stadium for the 20th and 23rd of December it’s a fantastic opportunity for Jets coach, Craig Deans to keep things rolling throughout the festive period.
Newcastle have the bye in round eight of the Westfield W-League, which presented the perfect opportunity to head north just prior to Christmas.
Deans will take close to a full squad to Queensland, which means the likes Australia internationals Emily van Egmond, Gema Simon, and Larissa Crummer will have the chance to face some international opposition ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup next June.
Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League coach, Craig Deans has identified the pair of friendlies against a quality opposition as important for his side.
“It’ll be valuable for us, because we’ve got four or five young girls who haven’t had much game time this year,” Deans said.
“It’ll be good to get some games into them, and see how they go against difficult opposition.
“Playing against a national team will be a big challenge, but it’s a fantastic opportunity for the Club and for our girls to see what that next level looks like.”
Newcastle Jets CEO, Lawrie McKinna believed it was an indication of how the Club was regarded in the football community.
“It’s a really positive thing for the Club, and again illustrates our standing in the football community,” McKinna said.
“We’re fortunate to have connections in China which got these matches over the line, thanks to Martin Lee’s ownership of the Club.”
Currently ranked 15th in the world, China have been drawn in Group B at the upcoming international tournament alongside Germany, Spain, and South Africa.
Their most recent competitive international matches were in early December, in the second round of the EAFF E-1 Football Championship, where they won all three matches.