“I’m super excited and happy with how it is all coming together” – that’s the verdict of David da Silva, head coach of Jets’ women’s team, on the eve of the 2021 NPLW season.
David, pictured right, has launched a new era in women’s and Under 23 football at Jets with new players, new squads and new training programs. But tomorrow the preliminaries are over.
Jets travel to Western Pride, (kick-off 4pm) in Round One with “everyone available,” he said. “It’s nice to have selection headaches and I hope that continues as the 23s put forward their cases forwards to play.
“It’s a really enjoyable environment, you can see them gelling. They are all fabulous people, that’s why they are here. I’m really excited to see where the group takes this project.”
Jets’ women started preseason with defeat by 2020 Premiers and Grand Final winners Lions, before drawing with Easts and beating Logan 4-1.
Though plans have been drawn up for three years, David said: “Trying to win all our games is part of our performance goals. We are realistic, we have to stay grounded as this is a long-term project, but I’m confident this group will put in a good performance.”
Goalkeeper Ro Petersen said the squad had come together quickly. “Five or six weeks ago we didn’t know each other,” she said.
“But we’ve gone through that ‘getting to know each other’ phase and are forming as a team. There will be a few nerves (on Saturday), but on matchday you fight together.
“I’m looking forward to seeing us becoming that one team, that one squad and the girls are really keen to push through the ups and downs of matches and seasons.”
Gary Ward, head coach of Jets new Under 23 team, which takes on Western Pride at 1.45pm, said: “It's exciting and I think we are where we need to be (after pre-season).”
The new young team in this new age group, began pre-season with a defeat to Lions before a 2-1 victory at Logan.
“My goal in to get as many opportunities for the players in this team to push for the women’s side. My job to make sure we have the next batch of players coming through,” said Gary, pictured right.
“We have performance markers and we will try to go out and meet those. But we are realistic, we are optimistic and we are confident in our abilities.”
Both Jets' women's teams make their 2021 NPLW home debuts on Friday March 19, when Logan Lightning are the visitors to Wolter Park, kick-off 6.30pm for the Under 23s and 8.30pm for the women.