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Simon, Baumann, Shaw join Jets’ ALW ranks

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The Newcastle Jets have continued their impressive recruitment drive with the additions of former captain Gema Simon, Swiss international Lorena Baumann and American Maggie Shaw.

The trio join striker Melina Ayres, Cassidy Davis, Matildas representative Alex Huynh and New Zealand midfielder Rebecca Burrows as high-profile recruits, for the club’s A-League Women’s campaign, in the past fortnight.

Coach Gary van Egmond is expected to start putting his squad through its paces on the training paddock in the coming weeks, with the 2023/24 season kicking off next month.

Newcastle faces derby rivals Central Coast Mariners at Industree Group Stadium, from 5pm, on Saturday 14 October.

Simon, a left back, returns to the Jets from Melbourne Victory, where she played during 2022/23.

She’s made a total of 130 appearances for the Hunter organisation, leading Newcastle 73 times, and scored eight goals since making her debut back in 2008 against Canberra United.

Simon, who’s donned the Matildas jumper on 11 occasions, was an inaugural member of the Jets’ W-League squad for the 2008/2009, too.

“I’m coming home for what will be my 14th season with the club,” she said.

“I started this journey [from there] 16 years ago.

“So, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”

Meanwhile, defender Baumann links up with Newcastle on the back on an impressive CV.

The 26-year-old fullback has previously played for Switzerland’s top teams FC Zürich Frauen, FC Neunkirch and FC St Gallen, Throttur Reykjavik in Iceland and SF Damaiense in Portugal.

She’s also represented Switzerland at under-17 and under-19 level before making her full senior international debut in 2019.

Across her career, Baumann has won six Swiss Championship titles along with five Swiss Cup crowns while featuring regularly in the UEFA Women’s Champions League competition as well.

She admitted she was excited to join the Jets this season.

“I’m very delighted to sign with Newcastle for 2023/24,” Baumann said.

“I have always wanted to play in Australia and I’m happy to be here.

“I can’t wait to get started with my new teammates and have a really successful season with Gary and the team.”

Originally from Columbia in South Carolina, 23-year-old Shaw is versatile and can play at centre-back or left back.

She’s also previously won the Southern Conference defensive player of the year in 2020 and 2022.

“I’m very proud to begin here at Newcastle,” Shaw said.

“Being able to represent this club, this town and the community with my new teammates feels like a dream come true.

“I’m honoured to be a part of the growth of football and female representation in this country.”

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