Tiana Jaber has declared she will be "fighting to be in the starting XI" this W-League season and Newcastle Jets coach Ash Wilson expects to see her there.
The 21-year-old defender is among several more signings to be added to the Jets 2021-22 squad. Twelve players have now been unveiled. Returning strikers Jemma House and Lauren Allan plus W-League debutants Kirsty Fenton and Lucy Johnson are the latest to also be confirmed in the Newcastle roster.
Fenton is a defender who has come through the Jets Academy program and Johnson an attacking midfielder, who joins Newcastle from Victorian National Premier League Women's heavyweights South Melbourne.
Jaber was forced to play the waiting game last season behind a set Jets back four of Gema Simon, Hannah Brewer, Taren King and Tess Tamplin. Her game time was limited to four appearances but Tamplin's departure to Swiss Women's Super League champions Servette has opened up an opportunity for a starting spot.
"We had every confidence in Tiana's ability and knew if we needed to rely on her that she was going to be able to do a job," Wilson said.
"Tess has gone over to Geneva, so that really opens up a spot for her if she works hard. She's physical. She's powerful. She aggressive and we're expecting her to contribute highly this season."
Jaber said in a statement when the Jets confirmed her signing last week that she wanted to establish herself as a strong defender in the league.
Fenton, who has just turned 18 and is part of the Young Matildas squad, has been in the Jets Academy since under 13s.
"Kirsty has shown a lot of promise and talent over the years," Wilson said.
"Playing in the NSW NPLW this year, she has consistently shown me she's quite capable of holding her own against players with W-League experience.
"I'm excited to see what she can do with the opportunity that she's been given and it's great to be able to promote talent from within the Academy. Kirsty is a centre-back but she could definitely play out wide. She's technically very good. She's physically aggressive, competitive and she gives a lot in attack."
Johnson could help fill the void left by the loss of last year's Jets player of the year Rhianna Pollicina to Melbourne City.
"Lucy is an attacking midfielder who likes to run with the ball and likes to shoot," Wilson said.
"She likes to go beyond defences, so I'm hoping she adds that bit more of an attacking threat from midfield than what we've had in the past year or so."
The Jets have also re-signed long-serving players Claire Coelho, Tara Andrews, Cassidy Davis and Gema Simon plus attacking weapons Sophie Harding and Sunny Franco.
The W-League is set to start on November 13.
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