Newcastle Olympic captain Sophie O'Brien marked her 100th Herald Women's Premier League appearance on Saturday with a convincing 5-1 victory over Warners Bay.
O'Brien's achievement was recognised before the grand final rematch kicked off. The game opened Olympic's premiership and championship defence.
The steely centre-back's 100 appearances have been collectively made with first-grade games for the Emerging Jets, Wallsend and Olympic, who took over the Red Devils' WPL licence last year.
- Clinical Olympic outclass Panthers in round one
- Hoy out of Herald WPL in blow for Warners Bay and competition
- Season preview: Who will be 2021 Herald WPL champions?
- Newcastle Olympic: An in-depth look at the 2021 Herald WPL teams
- Broadmeadow Magic: An in-depth look at the 2021 Herald WPL teams
- Charlestown Azzurri: An in-depth look at the 2021 Herald WPL teams
- Warners Bay: An in-depth look at the 2021 Herald WPL teams
- Mid Coast: An in-depth look at the 2021 Herald WPL teams
- Adamstown: An in-depth look at the 2021 Herald WPL teams
- New Lambton: An in-depth look at the 2021 Herald WPL teams
- Maitland: An in-depth look at the 2021 Herald WPL teams
Olympic's next challenge will be against other Herald WPL big guns Broadmeadow Magic. Get your popcorn ready because the round-two match is shaping up to be a much-anticipated blockbuster.
Magic, who have recruited well in the off-season, beat newcomers Maitland 5-2 in round one.
Broadmeadow and Olympic are widely regarded as the two sides set to fight out the premiership this year with the league's two strongest squads on paper.
Fans will have to wait another week for the showdown at Magic Park though as there are no games over the Easter long weekend. The Olympic-Magic clash will be played on April 10.
Magic and Olympic picked up some handy acquisitions in the off-season and their class was on show over the weekend.
Keea Parrish and Jade McAtamney produced stand-out performances for Olympic. Both got on the scoresheet and had a foot in other goals.
At Cooks Square Park on Sunday, Ash Brodigan signalled her return to Herald WPL with a hat-trick. Bella Carlisle also scored and signing of the season Alison Logue proved her worth in goals at the other end of the pitch for Magic.
Magic midfielder Nadja Squires will have to wait another week before her return to WPL after a season off. She watched from the sidelines last weekend due to injury.
Plenty of young talent was on show throughout last year's Herald WPL and we are set to see a lot more this campaign if round one is anything to go by.
Fifteen-year-old striker Ella Spicer scored her first goal in first grade when she opened the scoring for Adamstown in a 2-0 win over New Lambton at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday.
"It was a little chip over the top and she finished it well," Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.
At Cooks Square Park, teenage talent Mercedes McNabb showed she would also be one to watch in years to come.
Maitland coach Keelan Hamilton praised the efforts of the 15-year-old attacking player, who has come through the Jets Academy.
"I thought she acquitted herself really well," Hamilton said. "She caused some headaches at times and had a good, solid game for a 15-year-old in first grade."
The Emerging Jets 20s side open their NSW National Premier League Women's (NPLW) campaign on Sunday at JJ Kelly Park in Wollongong when they take on Illawarra Stingrays.
The Emerging Jets team is coached by Newcastle W-League mentor Ash Wilson.
Most of the Jets W-League players will feature in the NPLW but are not likely to be seen for a week or two after they have had a well-earned break.
Jets debutant Jemma House, last year's Herald WPL leading scorer and player of the year, will return to Newcastle Olympic in coming weeks.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: