2020/21 Lions AFLW Off-Season

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The Flying Belgian

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BRISBANE
Ally Anderson, Lauren Arnell, Emily Bates, Greta Bodey, Shannon Campbell, Gabby Collingwood, Sophie Conway, Dakota Davidson, Belle Dawes, Jade Ellenger, Nat Grider, Tahlia Hickie, Courtney Hodder, Jessy Keeffe, Breanna Koenen, Rheanne Lugg, Kate Lutkins, Maria Moloney, Orla O'Dwyer, Lily Postlethwaite, Selina Priest, Taylor Smith, Cathy Svarc, Jesse Wardlaw, Sharni Webb, Jess Wuetschner, Jordan Zanchetta, Emma Zielke

Recruits: Taylor Smith (Gold Coast)

Out: Arianna Clarke (retired), Hannah Hillman and Brianna McFarlane (both delisted)

Current draft picks: 8, 37, 38

After a few years of trade turmoil triggered by expansion teams, Brisbane appear to finally have a settled line-up. The Lions have retained 26 of its 30-strong 2020 squad and added young tall forward Smith from the Suns.
 

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LIONS AFLW defensive mainstay Arianna Clarke has decided to step back from elite football to focus on a career change.

Brianna McFarlane and Hannah Hillman have been delisted while Clarke has been released from the second year of her contract.
 

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The Flying Belgian

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After years of player turnover due to AFLW expansion, the Lions have ensured a period of stability by locking away the core of their side for another two years.

So far 16 players have signed new two-year deals or extended existing deals out until the end of 2022.

Club champion Emily Bates, All Australian defender Kate Lutkins and prolific goal scorer Jess Wuetschner all added an extra year to their deals.

Rising star Cathy Svarc heads a list of players to sign new two-year deals that also includes Rheanne Lugg, Lily Postelthwaite and Dakota Davidson.

The Lions will take four players in the upcoming AFLW draft and have one spot on the list vacant for a potential free-agency signing.

Ally Anderson ... has also extended her deal until 2022.
 

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The Brisbane Lions have secured exciting AFLW ruck-forward Taylor Smith in a trade with the Gold Coast Suns.

The Lions nabbed the 20-year-old plus draft picks 37 and 51 in exchange for pick 24.

Her original sporting passion was athletics where she first focused on high jump and hurdles before progressing to heptathlon at age sixteen.

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Lions AFLW coach Craig Starcevich said he was thrilled to bring another young plyer to the Club, especially one with such exciting upside as Smith.

“Taylor is really versatile and can play in several positions,’’ he said.

“Her athletics background gives her a really good base to come into our program with.

“And she has already shown in this season’s QAFLW competition that she has an appetite to continually improve.’’
 

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I initially over-looked this news as another code-hopping story, Hodder certainly has pedigree to contribute next season if all goes well.


The Brisbane Lions are delighted to announce the signing of cross-code sensation Courtney Hodder for the 2021 AFLW season.

The fleet footed Jill of all trades returns to football after a successful stint in rugby.

As a State representative for Western Australia in her junior years the highly decorated Hodder, was a three time All Australian in the Under 18s national carnival, before making the switch to rugby and becoming an overnight sensation.

Her 2019 season was wiped out after she broke both bones in her left leg in a tackle and it was during that rehabilitation process she began to think about a homecoming to Australian Football.

She returned to her try scoring best for the Reds this season but the passion to have a crack at the AFLW had been ignited.

She joins the Lions after the Club sought AFL permission to sign her as an other sport rookie due to her two seasons in elite National and State rugby programs.

Women’s CEO Breeanna Brock said the club was thrilled to receive the approval to bring an elite junior footballer back to the AFLW.

“We tried last year to see if Courtney wanted to come to AFL but she had lots going on with her recovery and it wasn’t something she was really thinking about,’’ Brock said.

“A year on and here we are getting one of our most talented youngster back to AFLW.

“She’s an exciting player in any sport she chooses to play. Quick, agile and a natural footballer we were all hopeful she’d come back one day. We are really looking forward to getting a Sherrin back in her hand. “

Hodder will join Irishwoman Orla O’Dwyer as the Club’s other rookie for 2021.

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She grew up playing Australian football, and now rugby star Courtney Hodder has returned to the sport she loves.

“I’m super stoked to be back,” Hodder said.

“It’s been playing on my mind for a little while now and it was a matter of when I’d come back. I was just waiting for the right moment.”

Hodder first dabbled in rugby as a 16-year-old, and quickly became a standout.

In 2018 she scored six tries in one match for Western Australia in a Super W match, and soon after joined the Queensland Reds.

“It caught me by surprise and off I went on a new journey,” Hodder said.

“I was just keen try something new and be challenged in a different sport.”

Hodder said her stint in rugby would improve her chances of succeeding in the AFLW.

“The aggression (in rugby), speed, you have to be fast, nippy, you’re always constantly getting hit and resilience. I’m always getting back up on my feet and having another crack so that’s what I can bring to the game,” she said.
 

GC2015

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I think you guys are going to be really happy with Taylor Smith as a recruit. She seemed to dominate at the QAFLW level this year and I'm expecting her to really announce herself to the AFLW next year. Wish she was still with us but I'm glad she remained in Queensland.

Would I be correct in saying your top pick on Tuesday night's draft will most likely be Zimmorlei Farquharson? Country girl from Dalby who is half Australian and half Papua New Guinean.
 

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The Lions added three players at the 2020 AFLW draft.

Pick 8: Zimmorlei Farquarson - Yeronga-South Brisbane /Dalby
Pick 37: Indy Tahau - South Adelaide / Happy Valley
Pick 38: Ruby Svarc - Essendon / St Marys Salesian

Farquharson has been an effective goal-scoring half forward who can shift to the wing and find space to carry the ball. She is good overhead, has length and power in her kicking, and defensive speed to get after opponents.

Starcevich said “Farquharson is an athletic and skillful player who we think can play in a number of positions.
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Tahau is strong overhead, has great goal sense, and aggressively works hard to defend when required. She was Best on Ground for South Adelaide in the SANFLW GF in 2019 as a 16-year-old and has been a NAB AFLW National Academy member for the past two seasons.

Tahau grew up in Cunnamulla before moving to Adelaide as a youngster and being drafted to Brisbane will allow her to spend more time with her mum who lives on the Gold Coast.

“Whilst she is strong overhead and can hit the scoreboard, it was her ground level pressure which really caught our eye, that willingness to compete will be a handy attribute for us.”
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Lions fans might recognize the name as Svarc is the younger sister of Cathy who had a breakout season for the Lions in 2020.

Svarc is a speedy half-back or winger who spent the last two seasons with Essendon in the VFLW. She has similar athletic traits to her sister, loves to carry the ball, use her speed to hunt the opposition and break lines whilst in possession.

“We’re really happy to welcome Ruby to our team - she loves having the footy in her hands and taking on opponents which suits our style.

“She’ll cause a few headaches with her defensive pressure which is equally important.
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Lions Hunt Down Eight PB's in 2km Time Trial

Eight personal bests were posted and a new recruit impressed with a top three finish when the Lions AFLW side got together for their time trials.

With reigning champion and Club record holder Orla O’Dwyer yet to return from Ireland all eyes were on whether second year player Rheanne Lugg would claim the title.

Service woman Lugg has spent long periods on deployment this year and had struggled to find opportunities for consistent training but was still able to produce a stellar time to cross the line first on the QE11 track.

Nat Grider was one of the big improvers shaving 15 seconds off her personal best to finish second.

Last year’s third place getter Cathy Svarc had to settle for fourth after being upstaged by younger sister, 2020 draftee Ruby Svarc.

Kate Lutkins, Greta Bodey, Belle Dawes, Jordan Zanchetta, Emma Zielke and Dakota Davidson all recorded their best times.

Dawes, who was a whopping 77 seconds quicker and Bodey (22 secs) were the standouts.

 
Fixture Announced New

The Flying Belgian

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Fixture was announced recently. Five home games: four at Hickey Park and one at The Gabba which you would assume would be a curtain-raiser.



 

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Sharni Webb taking the season off due to pregnancy and Coolangatta defender Beth Pinchen has been added to the list. Congratulations to Sharni and welcome to Beth!

Beth Pinchen gets her chance



Off the back of Lions stalwart, Sharni Webb’s, announcement yesterday that she would sit the 2021 AFLW Season out to have her first baby, the Club has today confirmed that Coolloongatta product Beth Pinchen would replace her on the list.

A handy defender, Pinchin's bid to be drafted has previously been thwarted by knee injuries.

Lions Senior Coach, Craig Starcevich, said they were excited for a player of Pinchen’s caliber to come into the team.

“Beth has been unlucky with injury in the past but has come back and had a really strong state-league season with Coolloongatta in 2020” he said.

“She’s a good intercept mark, uses the ball well by foot and can read the game really well."

Beth will wear the #32 guernsey in 2021.

 

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AFLW Practice Match Report: Lions v Suns
The Lions AFLW team, and their fans, have plenty to be excited about after a dominant performance against the SUNS on the weekend.


Defence looks like it will once again be a strength of the Lions’ AFLW side but they showed they may have found new avenues to goal in their pre-season match against the Suns at the weekend.

The Lions were in control for the entire game to run out comfortable winners 6.7 (43) to 4.2 (26) on the Gold Coast.

A heavy shower swept across the ground from the opening bounce which added to the expected scrappiness of the side’s first competitive hit-out against opposition for the season.

But the endeavor and work ethic across the board impressed coach Craig Starcevich.

“The competitive part of it was strong,’’ he said.

“We fought hard across the ground and were able to restrict the opposition, which was very pleasing, but we were also able to get a few chains of possessions going without setting the world on fire.

“We continually pushed players through the midfield, and I don’t think that made things easy for our forwards, but scoring has historically been a concern for us and we were able to generate 13 scoring shots which is encouraging.’’

Second-year player Greta Bodey picked up where she left off after an impressive debut season, kicking two goals, while Irish import Orla O’Dwyer was a constant menace.

Newcomer Courtney Hodder’s pressure was first class as she showed she is set to have an impact in her return to Australian football after a stint in rugby.

 

Dlions

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Dunno where to put this, but I just watched Richmond - Carlton. Harris and Frederick had no influence at all. Harris was hardly sighted, and Frederick is just too slow. Gimme Wardlaw, Dakota and Smith any day.
Not missing Kaslar and Virgo either. Or Katie Mac.
 

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