NEW­CAS­TLE J ETS

Inside Sport - - W-League Preview -

The New­cas­tle Jets will be look­ing to build from a strong cam­paign last sea­son, which saw a third-place fin­ish with ex­tra time the dif­fer­ence be­tween a spot in the grand fi­nal. Los­ing two key de­fen­sive play­ers from last sea­son’s set-up to Can­berra shouldn’t hin­der the Jets too much as they have full­back Gema Si­mon – re­turn­ing from an in­jury plagued 2017-18 sea­son – plus the sign­ing of freshly con­verted de­fender Larissa Crum­mer. Es­sen­tial for the side’s de­fen­sive sta­bil­ity is the re­turn­ing Amer­i­can Britt Eck­er­strom, af­ter an out­stand­ing first sea­son with the club.

Emily Van Eg­mond (above) will once again dic­tate play in the Jets’ mid­field. Who­ever as­sists Van Eg­mond in the mid­dle will be the ques­tion – Tori Huster, out through in­jury, will be a chal­lenge to re­place. Im­por­tantly, Katie Sten­gel re­turns af­ter a ten-goal haul last sea­son and an im­pres­sive half-sea­son at the Utah Roy­als. The Jets have added speed to their side through the ver­sa­tile Amer­i­can Tay­lor Smith, who, if part­nered with Jenna Kings­ley, will have pace to burn in at­tack.

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