US recruit Taylor Smith had her first hit-out in Jets colours as Newcastle beat a Football Mid North Coast Select team 12-0 in a trial at Taree on Sunday.
Newcastle were without returning American goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom and star Matildas signing Larissa Crummer but were otherwise full-strength at Zone Field.
“We got about 55 minutes into the majority of the W-League girls for that extra bit of fitness for them, and then we put a lot of the academy girls on,” Jets coach Craig Deans said.
“It was just nice to get everyone together for the first time and just have a game. Just get used to the new players fitting in, playing together and working each other out a little bit, which was important.”
Newcastle have the first-round bye in the W-League and start on November 1 away to Melbourne Victory. Smith and Crummer are the major additions to the Jets’ roster from their run to third place last season. Striker Katie Stengel is also back from the US but Tori Huster and Arin Gilliland are not returning.
Crummer, who represented Australia in friendlies against France and England recently, was in Sydney on Sunday ahead of the A-League/W-League season launch but Smith made her presence felt.
Deans said Smith, who has 10 caps for the American national team and comes to Newcastle from the Washington Spirit, scored twice and set up other goals.
“Taylor did well, we played her on the wing,” Deans said.
“She’s clever on the ball and can dribble with both feet. She linked up well with Katie [Stengel], Emily [van Egmond], Cortnee Vine and Tara Andrews, coming in from the left. We scored quite a few goals and could have scored more, but just getting some minutes and a proper game was good.”
He said Stengel, Smith, Van Egmond, Andrews, Gema Simon and Vine shared the goals.
“Defensively we weren’t tested too much, but just to get some understanding with the defenders and midfield was good, so it was a worthwhile exercise,” he said.
Eckerstrom arrived in Newcastle on Sunday and Deans hoped she would hit the ground running this week.
“We’ve got a couple of days off now so she’ll have time to get into the time zone and then be ready to get straight into training on Wednesday,” he said.
Deans has added academy graduates Tessa Tamplin, Paige Kingston-Hogg and Renee Pountney to his squad and said “I’ve still got a couple of positions to bring in people if I need to”.
Tamplin and Kingston-Hogg played on Sunday.
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