W-League preview: Jets v Victory

Amy Jackson

Amy Jackson is set for a record-equalling appearance when Melbourne Victory visits the Newcastle Jets in the Westfield W-League on Saturday.


Jackson, 33, is in line to play her 66th Westfield W-League game for Victory, equalling the record held by Gulcan Koca.

The midfielder has featured in all six of Victory’s games this season ahead of a trip to the No.2 Sportsground.

Victory will be in action for the first time since February 7, when it recorded a 4-2 win over the Jets in Morwell.

Melina Ayres scored a brace to go with Claudia Bunge’s first Westfield W-League goal and a Kyra Cooney-Cross strike.

Ayres is up to three goals this season, equal with Catherine Zimmerman for the most for Victory, while Cooney-Cross has netted twice.

Victory sits fifth on the table ahead of visiting Newcastle, three points behind third-placed Adelaide United and one adrift of Canberra United, but holding a game in hand.

It has won its past four games against the Jets, who are sixth on the table.

Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts

on playing the Jets again…
“We just need to make sure that we do our due diligence on the game just to make sure that we don’t miss anything. I think the good thing about the game was that we saw one how good we can be against this Newcastle team but also how dangerous they can be as well. I think the first half an hour of the second half they came at us, they caused us a number of problems. Although we won the game and we scored four goals, we’re under no illusions that this is going to be anything similar. I think the game’s going to be a very difficult game for us and we knew that coming into the game, which was very pleasing, our first-half performance against them was excellent. We were really motivated, we played with energy, intensity and some real good quality in that first half and maybe just took our foot off the pedal a little bit early in the second half and that’s all we had to do to let them back into the game and they proved to us what a good side they can be if we let them play. We’ve worked hard at the beginning of the week, we’ll do our tactical work tomorrow on a few things that we need to put right from the game and we’ll be going up there confident but under no illusions of what type of game it’s going to be, it’s going to be a real tough game for us.”

on having numerous goalscorers…
“I’m very happy. We try to play a style of play, a brand of play that is not too predictable and is not based around one player and that’s kind of proven that we’re getting goals now from a number of different areas of the field, from a number of different players as well. It was good to see us scoring from a set-play as well because we’ve done a lot of work and the girls have worked really hard on our set-plays and we do have a number of players that attack the ball really well in the air, Kayla Morrison and Claudia Bunge are as good as I’ve seen so it was good to see us getting a little bit of a reward from a set-play last game. I’m still expecting six, seven, eight goals from one or two of our strikers, Zimm’s on her way to that, Melina’s on her way as well, I’m expecting Lisa (De Vanna) to contribute, we’ve got Kyra Cooney-Cross who’s always looking dangerous and can score and in the past seasons Lia Privitelli has also chipped in with a couple, Mindy Barbieri, there’s enough players there to be a real genuine threat to any opposition in the league so it’s quite pleasing.”

on Jackson…
“She’s doing really well for us this season. Most probably don’t want to take her out of the ability to score spectacular goals as well, most probably should have mentioned her after she contributed with a goal of the season last year. Amy gives us a real stable base in the base of the midfield. She’s really reliable to have there, to give the ball to, to keep hold of the ball, but also defensively she kind of pulls the strings there in the midfield. Her experience is really invaluable because we do have quite a young, inexperienced team around her and you maybe take one or two of the other girls out then it’s quite an inexperienced team so having her in there is a really important role that she’s been playing, she’s helping develop players around her as well and like I said she’s not just sitting in there, she’s still able to get forward and to start things off and she’s proved last year that she can finish things off as well. She’s a really important cog in the machine for us and she’s doing a really good, consistent job for us which is just exactly what we want from her. It’s a big thing for her.”

Last time

Westfield W-League 2019/20 Round 7
Melbourne Victory 4-2 Newcastle Jets
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Latrobe City Stadium, Morwell

Victory’s last outing was against Newcastle less than two weeks ago.

Ayres, Bunge and Cooney-Cross had Victory on top before half-time, but goals from Tara Andrews and Rhianna Pollicina saw the Jets fight back.

However, Ayres’ second sealed Victory’s win.

As it stands

Match details

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
No.2 Sportsground, Newcastle
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT