W-League: The lessons from Thursday night’s loss to Brisbane


It wasn’t the result the Jets were after, with a lone Chioma Ubogagu goal condemning the home side to their second defeat of the season.

While Brisbane were resolute in defence, Newcastle drove hard and nearly found an equaliser in the dying stages.

REVIEW: The lowdown on the Round 5 clash

Here’s what we learnt from Thursday night’s W-League clash.

A committed Gilly

It was her first game in Jets colours this season, but Arin Wright showed that her determination to give her all for Newcastle is as fierce as ever.

Deployed as an attacking midfielder, just behind fellow American Katie Stengel, Gilly didn’t stop running during her hour-long spell on Thursday night.

She nearly grabbed a goal for herself midway through the first half, but couldn’t get over what was a nice ball over from Jenna Kingsley.

With another week’s training under her belt, expect the American to look even better at home next Sunday.

Arin Gilliland Wright

Solid in defence

While it’d be unfair to say Brisbane were lucky to win, no-one could deny that a stroke of luck handed Ubogagu the winning goal in the 56th minute.

It was perhaps that stroke the Roar needed because there’s no denying the Jets defence was top-notch on Thursday night.

Cassidy Davis and Larissa Crummer’s partnership at the centre of defence seems to be bubbling along nicely, while fullbacks Hannah Brewer and Gema Simon were indomitable.

They’re encouraging signs for coach, Craig Deans as his side turn their attention now to a side which has long been an offensive force: Melbourne City.

A proper midfield Wheeler dealer

While Craig Deans bemoaned the frequency of long balls that his side attempted to play on Thursday night, there was one midfielder who he did single out for praise.

The diminutive Clare Wheeler was enormous in the centre of the park, the Young Matilda a constant source of bother for her Brisbane opposition.

She was solid in her defence duties, and even more so in her distribution. The youngster’s passing game was on point, and her matureness on the ball got the Jets out of a spot of bother on more than one occasion.

Clare Wheeler

“I think Clare Wheeler was the best player, by a long way, for us,” W-League boss, Craig Deans said in the post-match press conference.

“You can never question her commitment, work ethic, her desire to win, and she set a good example tonight.

“It was pleasing, because for the youngest player in the team tonight to show that kind of leadership is really impressive. She doesn’t talk a lot, she doesn’t lead that way, but she leads in her performance and her effort.”