COACH Hano Hanifin has set his sights high for the 2019 NPLW season – but he knows two factors which will help Jets reach their target.
Jets travel to Lions for the match-of-the-opening-round tomorrow (5pm). Lions were second last season and lost in the semi-finals. Jets just missed the finals.
But both have been tipped, in some quarters, for top four finishes after strengthening their squads.
“Last year our aim was making the top six,” said Hano, “we did that (finishing fifth) and were just two points off the finals.
“This pre-season has been super. The new girls we have brought in have added depth to our squad and quality.
“Our 2019 aspirations are top four and finals football.
“If we work hard enough and stay committed I have no doubt this will happen. I have full faith in my playing group and staff.
“It (Lions) is a massive test for us, but we’re looking forward to it. We want to play the best teams.”
Jets’ forward line has been boosted by Brisbane Roar star Allira Toby and Rylee Baisden, who captained the US at the World University Games in 2017.
The midfield strengthened by Jess Dillon, an Australian Under 17 international and Rhianna ‘Mini’ Pollicina, an Australian Futsal and Young Matildas representative.
Natalie Tathem, who played every game for Roar’s W-League side in the season which has just finished, will bolster the rearguard.
Meaghan McElligott, the NPLW’s Golden Boot winner last season, has also returned after playing with W-League Canberra during the summer.
Captaining the team this season will be defender Kristi New. “We have worked extremely hard this pre-season playing as many games as possible leading in to round one,” Kristi said.
“But the team is fit and ready to go and we have set the benchmark high with the aim of making the finals.”
Jets squad: Lauren Askin, Rylee Baisden, Laura Cartwright, Grace Chalmers, Matalena Daniells, Jess Dillon, Fern Doyle, Jemima Head, Coco Majstorovic, Meaghan McElligot, Kristi New, Celeste Peterson, Rhianna ‘Mini’ Pollicina, Teleya Reynolds, Ali Schaefer, Lauren Spreadborough, Natalie Tathem, Allira Toby, Ash Watkins, Scotie Walker.