The wait is finally over for the Jets’ Westfield W-League side, as they make their first finals appearance in 10 years against Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval.
Craig Deans’ chargers finished the regular season in third position and will take on the Sky Blues on Saturday afternoon.
Deans said both he and his players were excited about the opportunity to feature in this year’s Final Series.
“It’s great for the players and I’m really proud of the work they’ve put in to get here,” said Deans.
“It repays the faith of the club for the time and effort they’ve invested into us since coming under the Jets’ banner and to give the town a team that’s playing in the finals is a great achievement.
“Now it’s about going down there and doing ourselves justice – regardless of the result – by giving everything we’ve got when we take the pitch on Saturday afternoon.”
Despite a disappointing last round result against Melbourne City, Deans said that his side had learned from the loss and were focused on the challenge ahead.
“They (City) are the only team we’ve let ourselves down against this year, but that’s irrelevant now,” added Deans.
“We’ve put that well and truly behind us and now it’s about focusing on the finals, playing to our potential and doing absolutely everything we can to win.
“The focus now is about playing the way we know we can and taking the nervous energy that comes from playing in a semi-final and using it to be positive and aggressive in the way we play.”
Deans praised his senior players for their leadership to this point and was expecting them to again lead the way against the Sky Blues.
“We identified that we lacked a little bit of experience and calmness under pressure and the girls that have come in have stood up when it’s mattered,” said Deans.
“This is another big game and many of them have experience in these type of games and they know the role they have to play, which will go a long way to us getting a positive result.”
By the numbers:
- Both these teams have scored 26 goals this season, more than any other outfits in the W-League.
- Newcastle have managed to score five goals in the opening 15 minutes of their games this season, two more than any other side.
- Overall the Jets have scored 17 first half goals, the most of any team with Sydney FC ranked second (16).
Saturday 10 February 2018
Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets
Kick-Off: 4:45pm (AEDT)
Referee: Lara Lee
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 4.30pm (AEDT) and streamed on the SBS The World Game website (www.theworldgame.sbs.com.au)
Radio: ABC 1233 Newcastle, Grandstand Online (http://radio.abc.net.au/stations/grandstand) & via the ABC Listen App.
Join the conversation: #WLeagueFinals #SYDvNEW
Newcastle Jets squad: 2.Hannah BREWER, 3.Natasha PRIOR, 5.Arin GILLILAND, 6.Cassidy DAVIS, 7.Gema SIMON, 8.Sophie NENADOVIC, 9.Katie STENGEL, 10.Emily VAN EGMOND (c), 11.Cortnee VINE, 12.Tara ANDREWS, 16.Nikola ORGILL, 17.Jenna KINGSLEY, 18.Clare WHEELER, 19.Ash BRODIGAN, 20.Claire COEHLO (gk), 21.Panayiota PETRATOS, 23.Tori HUSTER, 28.Britt ECKERSTROM (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Natasha PRIOR (return from injury), 11.Cortnee VINE (return from injury), 16.Nikola ORGILL (return from injury)
Sydney FC squad: 1.Sham KHAMIS (Gk), 2.Teresa POLIAS (c), 3.Remy SIEMSEN, 4.Elizabeth RALSTON, 5.Ally GREEN, 6.Chloe LOGARZO, 9.Caitlin FOORD, 10.Kylie LEDBROOK, 11.Lisa DE VANNA, 12.Teigen ALLEN, 13.Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 15.Caitlin COOPER, 16.Emily SONNETT, 17.Angelique HRISTODOULOU, 18.Taylor RAY, 19.Leena KHAMIS, 20.Princess IBINI, 29.Aubrey BLEDSOE (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Ally GREEN (promoted), 12.Teigen ALLEN (promoted), 18.Taylor RAY (promoted)
Unavailable: 8.Amy HARRISON (knee – indefinite)