If anyone thought Cass Davis would have her feet up and resting before her record-breaking appearance this weekend, they’d be wrong.
The dynamic Newcastle Jets A-League Women’s (ALW) skipper will become the club’s most capped female player when the side tackles the Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday 5 November.
But, before she chalks up that milestone, the 29-year-old spent Friday with fellow stars Kosta Grozos, Trent Buhagiar and Josie Wilson at St Francis Xavier’s Primary School, Belmont as part of the Jets:LEARN program fuelled by Greater Bank.
The quartet taught the students football skills ahead of Newcastle’s first home game of the season, with hopes of a record crowd for the double-header with the A-League Men’s (ALM) fixture.
Davis said building a strong connection with the local community was essential.
“Being able to engage with so many schools in the area is a key focus for the club,” she stated.
“And, thanks to the support of Greater Bank, we’re able to build a much closer connection with school-aged students and our ALM and ALW players.
“We’ve seen a huge lift in interest generally and the engagement levels when we visit schools are incredible.
“We’re excited to see this response translate into attendance at our home matches, starting this Sunday.”
Speaking of which, Davis will don a Jets jersey for the 132nd time on the weekend.
While that’s a brilliant achievement anytime, take in the fact those games were also consecutive.
“Playing for my hometown club is something that I always dreamt of,” she said.
“So, to reach 132 matches has been a long time coming as I’m now in my 11th season with Newcastle.
“To think, since running onto the field in the 43rd minute of our clash with Perth in November 2013, I haven’t missed a game is pretty special.
“These days my preparation’s a bit different… I just try to stay fit and healthy.
“Don’t get me wrong, these kinds of things are great, like scoring my first goal and playing in the 2018 finals.
“But, the main thing I want is a trophy at the end of the day.
“I think the community deserves it, too.”
While the ALW boasts one win in 2023/24, from two matches, Davis is keen to register more glory.
“There’s a winning mentality in the squad under Gary van Egmond,” she said.
“I don’t want to see seasons like the past few again at this club.
“And, I’m sure the other girls feel that way as well.”
Newcastle has popped into about 130 schools across Northern NSW, via the Jets: LEARN program.
Greater Bank chief distribution officer Emma Brokate said the initiative reached kids from inner-city Newcastle to Emmaville in the Northern Tablelands.
“The beauty of it is that it can delivered online by the Jets and in the playground by the teachers,” she explained.
“So, rural schools have the same opportunities as their peers in metropolitan and regional centres.
“In developing Jets:LEARN, it was important that we didn’t create extra work for teachers or take valuable time away from the curriculum, so this program has been designed to align with PDHPE outcomes in a series of short lessons.”
This weekend is the first opportunity for members and fans alike to see both A-League Men’s and Women’s teams in action on home soil.
So, the club and Davis are rallying the community to get behind their side and join the Jets family.
“With offers like ‘Kids Go Free’, it’s never been easier for them to access both our ALM and ALW matches this season,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to a huge turnout on Sunday.”
Gates open at 2pm, with the ALM kicking off at 3pm, followed by the ALW from 5.45pm.
Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers
(Sunday 5 November, McDonald Jones Stadium)
3pm – A-League Men
- Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ryan Scott, 3. Jason Hoffman, 5. Lucas Mauragis, 6. Brandon O’Neill (c), 7. Trent Buhagiar, 8. Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, 11. Jacob Dowse, 13. Clayton Taylor, 14. Dane Ingham, 15. Jason Berthomier, 17. Kosta Grozos, 18. Daniel Stynes, 19. Callum Timmins, 20. Michael Weier, 22. Phil Cancar, 23. Daniel Wilmering, 25. Carl Jenkinson, 33. Mark Natta, 27. Lachlan Bayliss, 39. Thomas Aquilina
- Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 4. Doni Grdic, 6. Marcelo (c), 7. Dylan Pierias, 9. Marcus Antonsson, 10. Milos Ninkvoic, 13. Tate Russell, 14. Nicolas Milanovic, 16. Tom Beadling, 17. Lachlan Brook, 19. Jack Clisby, 20. Lawrence Thomas (Gk), 21. Jorrit Hendrix, 25. Josh Brillante, 26. Brandon Borrello, 29. Dylan Scicluna, 31. Aidan Simmons, 33. Alex Bonetig, 36. Oscar Priestman, 40. Jack Gibson (Gk)
5.45pm – A-League Women
- Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Izzy Nino, 2. Josie Wilson, 3. Claudia Cicco, 4. Natasha Prior, 6. Cassidy Davis (c), 7. Gema Simon, 8. Rebecca Burrows, 9. Melindaj Barbieri, 10. Libby Copus-Brown, 13. Lauren Allan, 14. Melina Ayres, 15. Alex Huynh, 18. Sophie Hoban, 19. Bonnie Davies, 21. Kiara Rochaix, 22. Lorena Baumann, 23. Zoe Karipidis, 24. Milan Hammond, 25. Lara Gooch, 28. Emma Dundas
- Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1. Kaylie Collins (Gk), 2. Vicky Bruce, 3. Gemma Ferris, 4. Madison McComasky, 5. Lauren Keir, 6. Amy Chessari, 7. Amy Harrison, 8. Olivia Price, 9. Sophie Harding, 10. Melissa Caceres, 11. Danika Matos, 14. Milly Clegg, 15. Cushla Rue, 17. India Breier, 18. Malia Morris, 20. Sham Khamis (Gk), 21. Alexia Apostolakis, 22. Talia Younis, 23. Ella Abdul Massih, 32. Bethany Gordon
For more sports stories:
- Zeke’s ‘living the dream’ with Jets
- Koori Tournament another hit for Charlestown Netball Association
- REAL NRL: Humble Lamb delighted with ‘special’ season
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