WPL: Former Newcastle Jets striker Adriana Jones will play for Broadmeadow in Herald Women's Premier League

BACK: Adriana Jones will play for Broadmeadow in the Herald Women's Premier League this season. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
BACK: Adriana Jones will play for Broadmeadow in the Herald Women's Premier League this season. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Adriana Jones was the competition's leading scorer and key to Warners Bay's championship success the last time she played in Herald Women's Premier League.

Four years on and now in Broadmeadow colours, the 24-year-old returns to Northern NSW Football's top-flight women's competition with her sights set on both titles again.

But mostly, Jones told ACM, she wants to rediscover "that pure enjoyment" for football.

"A striker is always going to set that [golden boot] goal, that's a given and I would like to be," Jones said.

"But I want to see what I can do to not just help myself but to help the team because at the end of the day it's a team sport and I feel like the higher the ranks you get the more you forget that."

Adriana Jones will wear Magic colours this Herald Women's Premier League. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Adriana Jones will wear Magic colours this Herald Women's Premier League. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

With a host of high-profile players leaving the WPL this year and instead playing NSW National Premier League Women's in Sydney, Jones' return will come as a welcome one.

She has made 44 appearances in the W-League with seasons for her home-town Newcastle Jets before stints with Adelaide then Melbourne City.

This summer is the first she has not played in the national league in several seasons. After playing for South Melbourne in the Victoria NPL last winter Jones returned to Newcastle to start a diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Football was on the backburner when former Jets player Kobie Ferguson proved the link to Magic.

"Kobie messaged me ... I thought why not," Jones said.

"Then I met [Magic coach] Jake [Curley] and he's been awesome. He's really listened to me and he has the same values as me, which is football over politics. I just want to play football, good football.

"It's been good. I'm happy with the team ... I think we have a good chance and hopefully can be in the grand final."

Jones will be one of the biggest names of the league. There were six current W-League players in WPL last season but ACM understands this year there will be only Jets striker Jenna Kingsley, who has left Warners Bay to play for Newcastle Olympic, and Melbourne City's Rhali Dobson, who is expected to return to Merewether for a fourth season.

Jets striker Tara Andrews played the past two seasons for New Lambton in Herald women's Premier League. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jets striker Tara Andrews played the past two seasons for New Lambton in Herald women's Premier League. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Gema Simon, who played for South Wallsend in the same year she was part of the Matildas' World Cup campaign, is hoping to head to Europe while Jets teammates Cassidy Davis (Warners Bay), Tara Andrews (New Lambton), Libby Copus-Brown (Wallsend) and Lauren Allan (New Lambton) will play NSW NPL.

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Davis told ACM the move, after over 120 appearances in WPL as a player and two seasons as coach, was motivated by a need to "challenge myself" and to keep improving as a centre-back ahead of the next W-League season.

Jets centre-back Cassidy Davis will play in the NSW National Premier League this winter instead of Herald WPL. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Jets centre-back Cassidy Davis will play in the NSW National Premier League this winter instead of Herald WPL. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The WPL will also be without Tara Pender (Warners Bay) and South Wallsend quartet Gemma Harrison, Maddy Searl, Ash Brodigan and Kirstyn Antoni, who all have W-League experience and played last year.

Former Jets defender Stacey Day (New Lambton) and goalkeeper Alison Logue (Merewether) are still playing and Olympic will also feature Alesha Clifford and Olivia Kennedy, who both have W-League experience. Ferguson, who missed the second half of South Wallsend's season last year with a knee injury, has signed on for Magic but is not expected back in action until April.

Magic have taken over South Wallsend's WPL licence and Olympic have taken over Wallsend's with the WPL aiming for NPL status in 2021.

The WPL kicks off with Magic hosting Warners Bay on March 6.

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