JETS W-League leaders Gema Simon and Hannah Brewer have had a baptism of fire for the Matildas, making debuts in a 4-2 loss to Scotland at the Cyprus Cup yesterday morning.
Simon, Newcastle’s captain in their wooden-spoon season, and Jets vice-captain Brewer, 20, played the entire final-round match of the annual international tournament after missing selection for the 2-2 draw with the Dutch and 3-2 loss to France.
Newcastle coach Peter McGuinness said the debuts were just reward for the foundation Jets W-League players.
The pair, the 189th and 190th players to represent the Matildas, endured the Jets’ worst season but were recognised for their consistent efforts with shock call-ups to the national team.
‘‘I’m really glad they got a game. They deserved it,’’ McGuinness said.
‘‘They were excellent leaders for us this year. They were the last to leave training each time and were great examples to the young girls.’’
McGuinness was especially happy for Simon, 23, who overcame injuries in recent years to achieve her dream of playing for Australia.
Scotland were 3-0 ahead after 30 minutes via a goal from Lisa Evans and two from Jane Ross.
Michelle Heyman scored twice for Australia. Former Jet Nicola Bolger started, and ex-Newcastle star Emily van Egmond came off the bench.
Australia’s last match is against Italy in a seventh-place playoff early tomorrow morning.
The tournament is part of Australia’s build-up for the Asian Cup in Vietnam, which doubles as a qualifier for the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
Australia will chase one of the five World Cup berths on offer.