CONSISTENT: Katherine Reynolds at Jets training. Picture: Jonathan CarrollPOISE, professionalism and polish.
They are the qualities Jets W-League defender Katherine Reynolds has demonstrated since arriving in Newcastle with fellow Americans Tori Huster and Angela Salem in September.
Together with Huster, Salem and Matildas representative Emily van Egmond, Reynolds has helped turn Newcastle’s fortunes around after their forgettable 2013-14 campaign.
Huster and Salem played for the Jets two years ago but this is the first W-League gig for Reynolds, who was a teammate of Salem’s at National Women’s Soccer League club Western New York Flash.
‘‘Katherine is a very quiet sort of girl, very reserved, but she’s just a seasoned professional,’’ Jets coach Peter McGuinness said of the 27-year-old fullback from California.
‘‘She’s been involved in the US team at under23s level, and the standard that she produces week in and week out is just magnificent.
‘‘She’s one of those players that you just think, ‘How consistent is this girl’, because she produces such a high standard every week, every training session.’’
After four wins from seven games, the Jets (12 points) are third with five rounds to play.
They have some obstacles to navigate to secure a playoff spot, but it is a far cry from last summer when they went winless, posted just one point from a last-round draw, and ran last.
‘‘Everything is going really well and the team is even better than what I was expecting,’’ Reynolds said.
‘‘I’m glad we’ve been winning recently, I’m happy to be part of the team, and hopefully we can keep that winning up and make it to the playoffs and maybe even to the championship game.
‘‘I have heard about last season, and I’m just happy that Pete was able to bring in a few of us girls from America, and Emily – and there were already some great players on the team.’’
McGuinness said Reynolds led through her actions rather than words.
‘‘Anyone that plays in front of her knows that she’s going to be over-lapping all day, and that quality must be daunting for the player that plays against her because she’s so athletic getting up and down the field,’’ he said.
‘‘Her understanding of attacking play and her defensive duties is fantastic.’’
Since finishing college at Santa Clara in her home state of California, and before her most recent job at the Flash, Reynolds’ professional resumé has included stints in Atlanta and Philadelphia, and in Germany with SC Freiburg.
Having developed her own skills at that level, she enjoys passing that knowledge on to her mostly younger Newcastle teammates.
CONSISTENT: Katherine Reynolds at Jets training. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
‘‘I think all of the players that have come in from America, we’ve all been playing professional soccer for several years now, so we have a lot of experience,’’ she said.
‘‘That’s something we can all bring to the team because we’ve all played at the highest level in the United States, and Emily obviously plays for the Matildas, so bringing that attitude and experience and work ethic to training every day has really helped.
‘‘Hopefully some of the younger players have been able to see and maybe mimic some of the things we’ve done, because we all have the attitude that we need to work hard and train hard, and without any of that we won’t be successful.
‘‘We only had a short time together in pre-season, but things have really started to come together now that we’ve been together for a couple of months. All those things put together have helped the team.’’
Newcastle’s next game is away against leaders Perth Glory next Saturday.