Newcastle striker Tara Andrews will be hoping to continue her goal-scoring form against Brisbane Roar this weekend.
The Jets are winless through the first two games of the W-League season, suffering narrow 2-1 losses against Western Sydney and Sydney FC respectively.
Despite the two defeats, Andrews has bagged both of Newcastle’s goals so far.
She said that, while the start to the season was “not ideal”, there was plenty of room for improvement.
“Two losses isn’t the way you want to start the season,” Andrews said.
“I think the weekend was pretty disappointing from our point of view, we didn’t kick the ball well enough, we panicked on the ball a bit, and our decision-making wasn’t good enough.
“We’re not super happy with it, but we know we’ve got 10 more games to play and we’re really going to come out this week and improve on what we didn’t do well last weekend and see if we can get the three points.
“Western Sydney was a tough game to lose because we came on pretty strong. They probably came out hard in the first 20 minutes and then we dominated for the rest of the game, so to lose that game was pretty hard.
“But I think we took confidence from that. [I’ve] scored two goals now, so I’ll keep taking that confidence into the rest of the games.”
Due to COVID-19, the 2020-21 season has given greater opportunity for domestic players to shine in the W-League, with fewer international players coming to Australia’s shores.
Andrews, a local product, has been joined in the Jets squad by former Manly United colleagues Chloe O’Brien and Sunny Franco.
The 26-year-old said it was a good chance for local women to showcase their skills, particularly with the World Cup coming to Australia in 2023.
“To maybe go up and be on par with other teams now because they’ve got local players – I think it’s a really good opportunity for us this year and I think we’ll take it to the league,” Andrews said.
“I’ll push for [the Matildas squad] and I’ll see what happens. I’ll play as well as I can during the W-League and, whatever happens after that, then just run with it.
“Now we’ve got the 2023 World Cup, a lot of girls are probably in the same position, where we really want that passion to come back and really want to push for that.”
For now, though, Andrews and the Jets will be focused on picking up a first win of the season against Brisbane, which has recorded three straight draws.
Andrews said the clash would be a good test for the young Newcastle squad as it tackles a Roar squad packed with Matildas players.
“They’ve probably not won as many games as they should have in the last few weeks [but], because they’ve got such a strong team, they’ve been unlucky in that, so they’ll be very tough to play,” she said.
“We definitely will be working on keeping the ball this week, decision-making in the final third and making sure we put those chances away.”
Kick-off is at 6.40pm on Sunday 17 January at McDonald Jones Stadium.