KICK OFF: Jets Larissa Crummer and Dimi Petratos, back row, fourth and third from the right, at the season launch on Monday. Picture: AAPAT just 22, LarissaCrummer is already a veteran of six W-League seasons, four championship-winning campaigns, a golden boot and a World Cup.
The star Newcastle Jets recruit, though, had neverbeen front and centre at a season launch representingher club beforeMonday’s 2018-19 event in Sydney.
It’s a sign of Crummer’s standing at the Jets and her importance to the team as they try to repeat last season’s drought-breaking run to the finals.
Crummer was among a host of Matildas at Melbourne City over their past three championship-winning seasons. Before that, the striker-turned-defender played finals at Brisbane after startingher W-League career with a championship at Sydney FC in 2012-13.
And although Newcastle have the likes of Matildas star Emily van Egmond, former skipper Gema Simonand Americans Katie Stengel, Taylor Smith and Britt Eckerstrom to show the way, Crummer will no doubt take on more of a leadership role at the Jets than she has at her previous clubs.
It is a challenge Crummer, who wants to develop as a centre-back, is keen to take on.
“I’m more of a senior player,” Crummer said.
“There’s younger girls coming through and I’ve grown up, and I think I haven’t had the chance to be a leader, so it’s definitely going to improve me as a person and possibly as a player as well.”
Crummer, though, did not feel any extra pressure to perform for her new team.
“To be honest, I think there’s pressure at every club,” she said.
“I always want to do well and play my best football. At Newcastle, we might not have as many Matildas, but they are all quality players and we come together strong as a team, so I’m just really looking forward to starting the season.”
Crummer returned late last Thursday from the Matildas’ trip to England and France for international friendlies. She missed the Jets’ trial against Mid North Coast on Sunday to stay in Sydney and represent the club, along with Socceroo Dimi Petratos, at the joint A-League/W-League season launch.
”The uniform looks great and I’m happy to have it on,” Crummer said.“Newcastle have been so welcoming and everything, so it’s exciting.
“We’ve all said this is probably going to be one of the strongest W-League seasons that we’ve hadand I think no team is going to be easy and it’s always going to be a fight to win each game,so I’m just looking forward to getting started.”
She believed Newcastle were“definitely going to be one of the teams to beat” this season in a league that would be tighter than ever.
“I think City’s always put in a strong team and Sydney as well,” she said.
“Even Melbourne Victory have some great recruits, but no team is going to be easy.
“I think this year everyone has sort of evened out.
“The last few years it’s been City with the big names, halfthe Matildas have been at City, but I think this year we’re more spread out.”
“Even Adelaide has picked up some new players and Newcastle has as well, so it will be quite an even league.”
Newcastle start their season in round two against Melbourne Victory away on November 1 and Crummer believed the opening bye was a plus.
“The Americans are only just sort of coming in now, so with the extra week under our belts, and we can watchall the other teams as well, so I think it’s definitely an advantage for us,” she said.