Battle heats up for W-League team spots

NEWCASTLE Jets W-League coach Wayne O’Sullivan has challenged his players to demand selection in round one with a strong performance tonight against the Herald Women’s Premier League Select side.
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The match at Wanderers Oval from 6pm will be the Jets’ final trial before their W-League season opener against Sydney FC on October 21 at Leichhardt Oval.

The WPL side will be coached by championship-winning Adamstown mentor Shelley Youman and comprises players from Rosebud, Merewether United, Charlestown City Blues and Football Mid North Coast.

Competition for spots is healthy in the Jets camp after two modified trials against the Sky Blues, a 4-3 loss and 2-all draw, and intraclub matches.

“We had an internal game last night among ourselves which was very competitive and it gave us another look at the final pieces and who is going to play where and who wants to be the first in line,” O’Sullivan said yesterday.

“So tomorrow night is very much about doing the right things and people showing they’re ready.

“The final pieces will go into place next week, so I really want people to put their hand up and say, ‘I wanna start first round’.”

All bar two of the 19-woman squad will be available tonight.

Madeline Searl (strained knee) and Mikaela Howell (thigh strain) will be rested to overcome injuries, but the remainder of the squad is expected to see game time.

Tonight’s trial will also give local fans their first glimpse at US imports Tori Huster, Tiffany Boshers and Angela Salem.

Salem and Huster will play in the midfield and Boshers is expected to push further forward on the left wing.

“They’ve been great for the group from a cultural point of view,” O’Sullivan said.

The imports were all leaders on the field and brought experience which had showed in training, he said.

Wayne O’Sullivan.