Newcastle Jets coach Craig Deans will shift Larissa Crummer back up front for Friday night’s W-League clash with United in Adelaide as the Matildas squad member looks to show her full skill set ahead of this year’s World Cup.
The 23-year-old has shored up the Jets’ defensive line for much of the 2018-2019 campaign but with Alen Stajcic controversially sacked as the Australian women’s mentor this week, Deans wants Crummer to keep her options open for national selection.
Crummer was moved forward for the second-half of Sunday’s 4-0 loss against her former side City in Melbourne and made an immediate impact, looking dangerous with the ball and setting up a goal that was disallowed for off-side.
“We’ll play Larissa [Crummer] up front from the start which will be nice for us to have a recognised striker back up there,” Deans said before training at No.2 Sportsground on Thursday.
“Her future now is a little bit different maybe with everything that’s happened with the Matildas so we’ll give her a chance to make sure whoever is coming in as coach knows that she can do a job up front.”
Crummer and injured Jets teammates Emily van Egmond (ankle) and Gema Simon, who has been rested for Newcastle’s upcoming round 13 fixture, attended a well-publicised Matildas camp in Sydney earlier this week.
Deans said he also wanted to maximise Simon’s chances of wearing the green and gold uniform in France from June 7 by playing her when “fit and ready to go”.
The eighth-placed Jets, who are now six points outside the top four, must win both remaining games, improve their minus seven goal difference and rely on other results to have any chance of making the semis.
“We’re all disappointed that we’re in the situation that we’re in, but we just need to keep working,” Deans said.
“We still have a 0.1 percent chance of making it. It is highly unlikely, but we’ll just got out there and try and be a bit more positive than we were on the weekend.”
Cortnee Vine (tonsillitis) is also unavailable.
Deans said Renee Poutney was traveling with the squad on Thursday afternoon while Teigan Collister and Libby Copus-Brown were expected to feature in Newcastle’s starting XI.
The Jets were beaten 3-2 by Adelaide at McDonald Jones Stadium on New Year’s Eve after the hosts conceded twice in injury time.
Kick-off is 7:30pm.