THEY'VE lost marquee midfielder Emily van Egmond, leading scorer Cortnee Vine and, for the first time in several seasons, have no plans to reinforce their roster with overseas imports.
Yet Newcastle Jets W-League coach Craig Deans believes the club's new "home-grown" policy can deliver a berth in the play-offs this season.
"There's no point entering a competition if you don't want to win it," Deans said.
"So obviously we want to make the finals and go as far into the finals competition as we can. But historically we've done it twice in 10 years, so it's not an easy thing to achieve.
"It's obviously going to be harder this year. We don't have the international players ... it's going to be difficult.
"We've got to produce our own players. We've got to lift the level that they're able to play at and make them super-competitive.
"So we're under no illusions that it's going to be easy. We know it's going to be it's going to be very tough.
"But that's the path we're going down, and as a coach it's my job to get everyone up to speed."
Van Egmond, the Matildas mainstay, has signed with Melbourne City, while Vine has moved to live in Sydney.
Americans Britt Eckerstrom, Katie Stengel, Taylor Smith and Arin Gilliland-Wright won't be returning. Partly that is because Deans said the budget was "a bit tighter", but also the club has made a conscious decision to develop and nurture local talent.
"I've said it before, we've got an academy for the girls and we're the only club in Australia that does that," Deans said.
"So for us to have that academy and not make the most of it is probably a bit pointless ... that's the direction that we're going down with the club at the moment, trying to produce our own players."
Deans said it was unclear when Matildas representative Larissa Crummer would be available to return from the broken leg she suffered late last season, which cost her any chance of selection at this year's World Cup.
Crummer required a second bout of surgery to remove a titanium rod from her leg and endured another setback when the bone became infected.
She will be attached to an antibiotic drip for at least another fortnight.
"Obviously playing at this stage is a long way away, but she's in a pretty good frame of mind," Deans said.
"We want to get her back on the park as soon as we can."
With internationals Gema Simon, Tara Andrews and Hannah Brewer providing experience, Deans was confident his squad will be "competitive" from the outset.
The W-League draw has not been released but the season is expected to kick off in mid-November.