Jets add boost as WPL prepares to launch

Up to seven Newcastle Jets are expected to feature in the Herald Women’s Premier League this year.

IMPACT: Grace Macintyre, left, and Rhali Dobson will play for Merewether United in the Herald Women's Premier League this season.

IMPACT: Grace Macintyre, left, and Rhali Dobson will play for Merewether United in the Herald Women's Premier League this season.

Merewether United have improved their strikepower this season by signing Newcastle W-League players Rhali Dobson and Grace McIntyre.

They join former Jets players Nikki Jones and Alison Logue.

Defending champions Warners Bay will have Cassidy Davis, who has also stepped up to the first-grade coaching role for 2017, as well as Jenna Kingsley and Brooke Miller.

Libby Copus-Brown will go around again for last year’s beaten grand finalists Wallsend.

Jets captain Gema Simon is also rumoured to make an appearance this season depending on commitments with the Matildas squad.

South Wallsend will not feature any current W-League players but have former Jets Maddy Searl and Gemma Pearce in their ranks.

There will also be a host of players who have come through the Emerging Jets ranks spread through the teams.

Northern NSW Football chief executive officer David Eland said it was pleasing to see so many elite players remaining in Newcastle to play in the WPL.

Cassidy Davis

Cassidy Davis

Dobson, who is also a Professional Footballers Australia representative, echoed Eland’s sentiments.

“We’ve really reinforced it’s a good opportunity for players to stay local and play in their local comps but not all go into one team together,” Dobson said. “It’s beneficial to the competition and beneficial to the W-League players as well. [Joining Merewether] is going to be a good opportunity for me to broaden my ability to play in different positions on the park this season, which I’m really keen to do.”

Macintyre played in the WPL for the Emerging Jets but this will be her first season in a senior team.

“I’ve still got a lot to learn as a player,” she said. “This season was the first time in W-League that I got time in every game, I am just hoping to build on that for next season.”

Jenna Kingsley

Jenna Kingsley

The WPL season starts March 12.