JETS W-League coach Ashley Wilson is excited about the future of women's football in the region after the Hunter provided almost a quarter of Australia's squad for the Asian under-19 championships this month in China.
Emerging Jets Hannah Southwell, Kobie Ferguson, Brooke Miller, Sophie Nenadovic and Clare Wheeler will be announced on Thursday as selections in the 23-strong national squad that will chase Under-20 World Cup qualification in Nanjing.
The top three teams at the championships qualify for the 2016 world titles to be held in Papua New Guinea.
Australia will play Japan on August 18, China on August 20 and Uzbekistan on August 22 for a top-two place in the group to progress to the knockout stage.
Wilson is assistant to Craig Deans for the coming W-League season and has coached all five of the girls as a teacher at Hunter Sports High.
"It's a fantastic achievement and it's a real credit to the work the girls have put in throughout the year in the program," Wilson said. "They have all got fantastic work ethics and attitudes."
Southwell last season became the youngest goalkeeper in W-League history. Miller, Wheeler and Nenadovic have also played in the national competition with Newcastle.
Wilson said the selection of so many Hunter players in one national age squad ‘‘hasn’t happened for a very long time’’ and it made for an exciting future at the Jets.
‘‘Back when I was coming through, we had a time when we had players like Cheryl Salisbury, Joey Peters and Amber Neilson coming through,’’ she said.
‘‘We had a massive crop, but it’s been a long time.
‘‘These girls are the type of players you can see, if they continue to work hard and develop, being part of our starting W-League team in the next two to three years.’’
‘‘They are definitely the crop you want to keep and nurture within the region.’’
The Hunter players were picked after a camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra which followed the FFA Girls National Training Centre Challenge.
Ferguson, Miller and Southwell were selected to take part in that camp before the NTC Challenge in Canberra, where they played for the Emerging Jets. Nenadovic and Wheeler were called up after their efforts at the NTC.
Ferguson and Southwell helped Australia qualify for the Asian under-19 titles with a third-place effort at the Asean Football Federation Championship in May in Vietnam. Ferguson, a midfielder, has captained the side and been a regular goal scorer.
Wilson praised the effort of defenders Nenadovic and Miller and attacking midfielder Wheeler to work their way into squad.
‘‘Sophie was identified at an early age, then had a few injuries, but now she’s come back into it,’’ she said.
‘‘Brooke’s is a fantastic story. She has struggled with injuries for a number of years and it’s only been the past two years that she’s been able to stay injury free. She has a great work ethic and just pushed herself into the team.
‘‘Clare is one of those girls who never complains, she gets through her work and has a fantastic attitude.’’
The girls leave on Thursday for a six-day training camp.