WORKING HARD: Larissa Crummer  at a training session for the Matildas in July..
WORKING HARD: Larissa Crummer at a training session for the Matildas in July.. Ed Zurga

Ex-Golden Boot winner expected to thrive in Jets' backline

FOOTBALL: Newcastle manager Craig Deans expects Tewantin product Larissa Crummer to be a highly influential player at the W-League club and he believes she'll adapt well to a change of position.

The 22-year-old Australian representative is poised to make her first appearance for the side in their season opener against Melbourne Victory tonight.

Renowned as a striker, Crummer won the Golden Boot with Melbourne City in 2015/2016.

But she's undergoing a transition to the back-line, under the advice of national coach Alen Stajcic, and the Jets expect she can be a key player there.

"She'll be a pretty important player for us, for sure," Deans said.

"She's tall, she's fast, she's powerful and she's aggressive.

"They're all the traits of a good centre back and, having been a striker, she'll probably have a reasonable goal-scoring record too, which is nice."

Crummer showed some promise in the position for Australia against Japan in August.

"With the conversations I've had with her, she's really keen to continue learning the role," Deans said.

"It's obviously different to playing as a striker but I'm happy to work with her and help her and she's very receptive to information and she tries to improve every training session ... I'm sure she'll be more than capable."

"It's going to take her a bit of time but she's three or four months into the process now and she's starting to get more comfortable in that position."

Crummer has won championships with Sydney FC and Melbourne City and had a stint in the US with Seattle.

"I was happy to take the risk and bring her to the Jets," Deans said.

"We're a pretty young team and we need a bit of leadership and Larissa's got experience in the W-League and in international football so that will be a major factor for us.

"And with her being at the back now, she can hopefully show a bit of leadership from the defence and she'll be a pretty important player for us for sure."

The Jets finished last season in third place and there are high hopes they will fare well in 2018/2019.

"Last year, we probably did better than anyone expected us to ... with a young and inexperienced team," Deans said."

"The players are now 12 months better off and we have a more expectations on us to perform at that (high) level all the time and other teams are going to be more wary of us."



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