Former skipper gives coach many options

Former skipper gives coach many options

FLYING: Gema Simon stretches out at training on Wednesday. The former skipper has recovered from a knee injury. Picture: Jonathan CarrollCRAIG Deans is not sure exactly where Gema Simon will play for the Newcastle Jets but the coach has no doubts that the Matilda will play akey role in the push towards the W-League finals.

Simon,a foundation W-League Jet and former skipper, will make her first appearance since returning from a stint at Avaldnes in Norway, where she injured her knee at training in November.

The 27-year-old will start on the bench against Melbourne Victory in Melbourne on Friday but Deans is yet to decide if she will play at left back, the position she occupies for the Matildas, or further forward.

“Depending on the game, she has that bit of flexibility,” Deans said. “She can play left back, she can push forward and she played in midfield a couple of time last season as well.Hannah Brewer has been playing left back for the thepast three weeks. It may not be her strongest position but she has been doing a good job.At the end of the day, it is good to have another player who expects to play every week. Having said that we have been doing reasonablywell. Gem knows she has to work hard and show at training that she is going to add more to the team than someone already in there.”

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Apart from versatility, Deans said Simon would add experience and quality to his third-placed outfit.

“She has lots of experience to start with,” he said. “She was an inaugural squad member of the Jets. Then she went down to Melbourne Victory and they won the W-League the year she spent there. She played in Norway this year, Korea the year before that and has gotten herself back in the Matildas squad over the last 18 months. She is athletic, quick and technically good. All left footers generally have quality about them. It is like getting a new player really.”

Victory sit in seventh place six points behind the Jets

“Itis very much like the A-League, there is not really an easy game,” Deans said. “We have done reasonably well against them in the past and can be confident that we can go down there and win. And we need to win because we want to make sure we don’t drop out of the four.If we win this it takes us to 16 points which is not bad after eight games.”