Western Jets take aim at building a foundation for success

Western Jets
Western Jets' Nikita Wright. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Lance Jenkinson

Western Jets have achieved their best season in the NAB League girls, accruing a second win in a campaign for the first time in their three years in the competition.

It has been a slow burn for the Jets to become competitive. They failed to win a game in their first season in 2017 and were victorious just once last season, but they have continued to chip away.

The Jets have won two of their past three games and have two more weeks of the season to add to that total.

The essence of the NAB League is player development over wins and losses, but Jets coach Zac Read could see how much it has meant for his team to get to sing the song after matches in recent weeks.

“We can see the progression and the improvement, but there’s only so many times you can tell the girls they’re improving without getting that W,” Read said.

“The wins are for their confidence more than anything. We’re not wins or loss based in the program, but it is important for the girls who are putting the work in that they’re getting that W on the board.”

It has been a topsy turvy past two rounds for the Western Jets.

In round six, the Jets could only manage one behind against premiership favourite Geelong Falcons, losing 76 to one.

In an incredible turnaround, the Jets served up a dose of their own medicine, holding the Tasmania Devils to just one behind, winning 38 to one at Rams Arena on Friday night.

“We were on the end of a result like that against Geelong the week before where we didn’t get a goal, so it was better to be on the other side of it,” Read said.

“That one in Geelong was a pretty tough result, but otherwise the last month has been pretty good from the girls.”

Western Jets dominated across their half-back line. Any potential attacking threat from the Devils was stopped by intercept marking Jets captain Elisabeth Georgostathis and Isabelle Pritchard.

Georgostathis has been important for the Jets both defensively and offensively.

“We’ve put her at half-back over the past month and she’s giving us some really good drive from there,” Read said.

“She works really hard to get the ball moving back forward.”

The Western Jets midfield got on top at the key moments with Nikita Wright and Ruby Tripodi hugely influential.

Emma Quinn and Jasmine Goodman finished off the job for the Jets with two goals each.

Goodman is noted for her being an aerial target for the Jets, but it was her work at ground level that led to her scoreboard impact.

Western Jets will take on another 2-5 team in Sandringham Dragons at Warrawee Park on Sunday morning.

In the NAB League boys, Western Jets had a commanding 47-point win over Tasmania Devils at UTAS Stadium on Sunday.

Darcy Cassar was best-on-ground for the Jets for the second time in three weeks, while Archi Manton snared three goals, taking his season tally to 10 goals in five games.

They have a bye this weekend before taking on undefeated Dandenong Stingrays on May 11.