AFLW 2021 AFLW Pre-season (practice match info, predictions/previews, training reports, injury/availability updates, other news)

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jatz14

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Teen Wolf

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Katy Herron, who came out here last season with her 7-year-old son and played every game with the Bulldogs, is staying home in Ireland this time around. That makes it two Irish players to miss out on 2021, and apparently one more is still to be confirmed, though the news floating around about the others sounds promising (or better, as most have already arrived).
 

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Teen Wolf

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GWS Giants, replacing the absent Yvonne Bonner, have pulled off a huge coup by signing former WNBL player Erin... Todd.

Brisbane have signed Beth Pinchin, replacing Sharni Webb (pregnant).

Fremantle have confirmed Leah Mascall will miss the season (ACL). Didn't see a replacement named, but it reminded me to mention Jess Trend will also miss the season due to work commitments (Maggie MacLachlan was subsequently added to their squad).

---

I haven't seen any info about the practice matches yet, so I'll just throw this out there, here's what the AFL sanctioned games should be:

Ade v WC
Bris v WB
Carl v StK
Coll v NM
Fre v Melb
GC v Gee
GWS v Rich

None of those match-ups are fixtured for the H&A season, and there's also the likelihood of clubs from two-team states playing each other on the prior weekend.

---

One other thing (and this might be useful for those wishing to make some pre-season predictions): the stats page on the AFLW website has been updated and it's pretty good now, especially considering how it was a whole bunch of nothing for 2020.

It's slightly worse than the app in one respect, because you can't click on a player's name to jump into their profile. But it's also a lot better than the app on the basis that you can more quickly and comprehensively look up and sort player stats en masse from previous years.
 

Teen Wolf

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"PREDICTIONS/PREVIEWS" added to the thread title, should have been included from the outset. Have a crack at guessing who the team(s) to beat is/are etc, if you're feeling game.

I've personally become fairly uninterested in trying to forecast a premier, simply because the outcome is far too reliant on injuries. My gut feel is there are six teams that, if at full strength, would all be high-quality winners--most of them won't remain at anything close to full strength though, as usual, and perhaps even none of them will.

But knowing that your average "All you need to know" team guides (like this one for Brisbane by Michael Whiting) smack of such apathy, I feel compelled to throw some moderately passionate punditry into the mix. For starters, here's the one thing you really need to know about the Lions...

Trailing by four goals late in a final, their forward-line looked like this:
bris4.png


How the HELL are you supposed to score goals when you let the opposition have TWO loose defenders sitting in your forward 30m. And I know, Brisbane are a young team, lots of players with plenty to learn. Well then let's go back a couple years to their previous final at Princes Park, when they had a much older and wiser and higher-performing list:

bris6.png


Stoppage on the wing, 20 seconds left in the grand final, one goal needed to level the scores. NOBODY in their forward 50 (except the opposition's captain). You'd be forgiven for suspecting I photoshopped this monstrosity.

Then, after winning the clearance, they manage to get one player inside 50 and kick it to her. Problem is she's outnumbered three-to-one:

bris5.png


These aren't cherry-picked examples, by the way. I could go on posting screenshots all day which would make any rational football mind want to throw their internet communication device out the window. Thus the point is that Brisbane playing this way is not an accident. It's the direct result of a team following the ill-conceived instructions of an unadaptable coach.

So when I read the Lions "have finally got some continuity with their smallest list turnover since the AFLW started"... I can't help but once again make the point about what's really been holding them back (though I will try to ensure this was my last lecture on the topic for 2021).
 

AlphaSheep

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"PREDICTIONS/PREVIEWS" added to the thread title, should have been included from the outset. Have a crack at guessing who the team(s) to beat is/are etc, if you're feeling game.

I've personally become fairly uninterested in trying to forecast a premier, simply because the outcome is far too reliant on injuries. My gut feel is there are six teams that, if at full strength, would all be high-quality winners--most of them won't remain at anything close to full strength though, as usual, and perhaps even none of them will.

But knowing that your average "All you need to know" team guides (like this one for Brisbane by Michael Whiting) smack of such apathy, I feel compelled to throw some moderately passionate punditry into the mix. For starters, here's the one thing you really need to know about the Lions...

Trailing by four goals late in a final, their forward-line looked like this:
View attachment 1035719

How the HELL are you supposed to score goals when you let the opposition have TWO loose defenders sitting in your forward 30m. And I know, Brisbane are a young team, lots of players with plenty to learn. Well then let's go back a couple years to their previous final at Princes Park, when they had a much older and wiser and higher-performing list:

View attachment 1035720

Stoppage on the wing, 20 seconds left in the grand final, one goal needed to level the scores. NOBODY in their forward 50 (except the opposition's captain). You'd be forgiven for suspecting I photoshopped this monstrosity.

Then, after winning the clearance, they manage to get one player inside 50 and kick it to her. Problem is she's outnumbered three-to-one:

View attachment 1035721

These aren't cherry-picked examples, by the way. I could go on posting screenshots all day which would make any rational football mind want to throw their internet communication device out the window. Thus the point is that Brisbane playing this way is not an accident. It's the direct result of a team following the ill-conceived instructions of an unadaptable coach.

So when I read the Lions "have finally got some continuity with their smallest list turnover since the AFLW started"... I can't help but once again make the point about what's really been holding them back (though I will try to ensure this was my last lecture on the topic for 2021).
Agree completely. They're a write-off if they keep playing that way. And it's sad, because they've got some great players -- on pure talent they'd be a chance.

These days the good offences are going to score their 40 points no matter what you do to them defensively. So you better have a plan to score 40 yourself, as well as defend, or you may as well not bother taking the field. Brisbane have got the talent to do it, but not the gameplan.
 

Teen Wolf

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Agree completely. They're a write-off if they keep playing that way. And it's sad, because they've got some great players -- on pure talent they'd be a chance.

These days the good offences are going to score their 40 points no matter what you do to them defensively. So you better have a plan to score 40 yourself, as well as defend, or you may as well not bother taking the field. Brisbane have got the talent to do it, but not the gameplan.
Yes, I wouldn't be quite as critical if the defence-heavy gameplan was as necessary as it appears for some other teams. If Geelong had a stronger list (by landing the trio of Mithen, McEvoy and an injury-free Morrison as once anticipated, for example) then their Lions-lite brand would make just as little sense. And yet, even Paul Hood has repetitively talked about implementing a more attacking style for the Cats since 2019.

The one time Brisbane clearly went into a game with a scoring-first mentality was R7 2018, because they needed the % boost, and it was both effective and brilliant to watch (so it's not completely fair of me to say Starcevich is unadaptable, though the habit of reluctantly making belated tactical changes usually produces similarly disappointing results).
 

cats_09

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Yes, I wouldn't be quite as critical if the defence-heavy gameplan was as necessary as it appears for some other teams. If Geelong had a stronger list (by landing the trio of Mithen, McEvoy and an injury-free Morrison as once anticipated, for example) then their Lions-lite brand would make just as little sense. And yet, even Paul Hood has repetitively talked about implementing a more attacking style for the Cats since 2019.

The one time Brisbane clearly went into a game with a scoring-first mentality was R7 2018, because they needed the % boost, and it was both effective and brilliant to watch (so it's not completely fair of me to say Starcevich is unadaptable, though the habit of reluctantly making belated tactical changes usually produces similarly disappointing results).
Regarding Geelong, one of the things that frustrated me (particularly last year) and this goes with both our AFL & AFLW teams is that the coaching groups of both teams have come across has defence heavy in terms of the playing experience that the individual brings to the table.

I'm quite sure that Tom Stewart was a valuable acquisition to our coaching ranks, but instead of him being our forwards coach I'd rather see him working with our defenders and getting a former forward to work with our forwards. We have Aaron Black as our forwards coach this year and at least he brings some experience as a forward to the table, so hoping that will better help develop the forward craft of our players

We've heard the line about the AFLW team playing a more attacking style, but to help implement that we need to bring in coaches who have a understanding of that attacking nature, what it means to play as a forward etc. I'm also hopeful that with Jess Foley joining the ranks that she'll bring some valuable knowledge, experience and a different voice as she isn't from that Geelong bubble
 

the Ziebull

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3 weeks to go

i know blues and freo have a prac match scheduled

surely other clubs also have a prac match or 2 scheduled in the next 2 weeks before round 1?
 

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Teen Wolf

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Yeah I have a funny feeling they aren't just going to rock up for round 1 without having a few decent runs beforehand.

League sanctioned practice matches have always taken place a fortnight out from the start of the season, for what it's worth (and they've barely been promoted in the past, even when people could usually attend them).
 

Teen Wolf

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For those who missed it, Erin Phillips has stepped down from her role as co-captain of Adelaide.

In some shocking news, Gold Coast today announced Jacqui Yorston will miss the season with an ACL injury.

The Suns added Alison Drennan over the trade period, which helps them cover this loss to some degree. But it nevertheless takes a lot of wind out of their sails, very hard for them to improve at the rate otherwise expected.
 

Teen Wolf

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More injury news:
North Melbourne's Elisha King will be sidelined for the season with a hamstring injury.
Fremantle's Aine Tighe is unlikely to play in 2021 due to a medial meniscal tear in her left knee, following on from missing all of 2020 with a ruptured ACL.

What I've seen so far about practice matches this weekend:
Carlton v St Kilda
Richmond v Western Bulldogs
Adelaide v Brisbane was planned, according to the Herald Sun. Meant to take place in SA, don't know what the latest venue info is on that.
 

Teen Wolf

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The AFL has confirmed the following practice matches for the weekend:

Saturday
WCE v Frem
Geel v Melb
Carl v StK
Rich v WB
GC v Bris

Sunday
Coll v NM
Adel v GWS

All matches closed to the public. Haven't seen any info regarding potential livestreams yet.
 

BarbieITFC

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devo about Aine, second season she has flown over from Ireland only to not be able to play :(
She actually didn’t go back to her family in Ireland, preferring to stay in Perth so she could get a longer pre-season and build her AFL core skills. Desperately sad for her, but at least in Strom we have the best U-20 ruck in the comp.
 

Teen Wolf

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Teams for Saturday's practice matches.

West Coast v Fremantle

Saturday 16 January at Mineral Resources Park

WEST COAST
1 M Bowen 2 K Gibson 3 B Green 6 I Lewis 7 S Goranova 8 M Collier 9 A Atkins 10 E Smith 11 A McCarthy 13 E Swanson 14 B Smith 15 G Kelly 17 D Hooker 20 T Bresland 22 A Gilmore 23 D Liddle 24 H Bullas 25 P Laurie 26 L Gauci 27 J Low 28 S Davison 32 K Orme 33 A Ward 35 S McDonald 37 R Walsh

Imahra Cameron, Niamh Kelly and Chantella Perera among the notable players not named.

FREMANTLE
1 A Sharp 2 K Bowers 3 E O'Driscoll 4 A Stannett 5 S Verrier 6 S Duffy 7 J Stewart 8 E Gooch 12 E Antonio 13 K-J Grieve 14 M Hyde 16 M MacLachlan 17 R Roux 18 P Seth 19 H Miller 20 S Cain 22 G O'Sullivan 23 M Sergeant 26 B Webb 27 G Houghton 29 J Cuthbertson 32 L Pugh 33 T Haynes 44 S Wielstra 55 J Briggs

Kara Antonio and Mim Strom not named.


Geelong v Melbourne

Saturday 16 January at GMHBA Stadium

GEELONG
1 R Caris 3 A McDonald 4 D Moloney 5 J Ivey 6 J Crockett-Grills 10 G Rankin 11 M McDonald 12 R Garing 14 A O'Connor 15 O Barber 16 O Purcell 17 G Clarke 18 L Gardiner 19 M Brown 20 M Skinner 21 R Webster 22 N Garner 23 P McWilliams 25 S Williams 26 M Boyd 27 S Van De Heuvel 28 D Taylor 29 C Remmos 30 R Cranston 44 R Goring 45 M Keryk

Danielle Higgins, Nina Morrison and Maddy McMahon not named.

MELBOURNE
1 T Cunningham 2 M Downie 4 K Paxman 5 T Hanks 6 D Pearce 9 E Birch 10 K Hore 11 C Emonson 12 S Scott 13 M Kendall 14 L Mithen 15 L Pearce 16 A Bannan 18 C Sherriff 19 J Parry 20 B Tarrant 21 M Caris 22 E McNamara 24 M Fitzsimon 25 I Simmons 29 E Zanker 30 S Heath 31 K Petrevski 32 G Colvin

Maddison Gay not named.


Carlton v St Kilda

Saturday 16 January, 1pm at Ikon Park

"Live coverage will be available via Twitter and Instagram with more photos, interviews and a full-wrap available on the website following the game."

CARLTON
BBrooke VernonMua Laloifi
HBNat PlaneCharlotte WilsonKerryn Harrington
C/RLauren BrazzaleMaddy PrespakisAbbie McKayMimi HillBreann MoodyElise O'Dea
HFCharlotte HammansNic StevensGeorgia Gee
FDarcy VescioSerena Gibbs
INTWinnie LaingJess HoskingMaddy GuerinCourtney JonesLucy McEvoyJess Edwards
Brooke WalkerAlison DownieDaisy Walker

Grace Egan, Katie Loynes, Gabriella Pound and Tayla Harris the notable absent names there.

ST KILDA
1 M McDonald 2 A Browne 3 A Burke 4 C Whitfort 6 T Smith 8 B Jakobsson 9 K McCarthy 10 J Vogt 11 I Shannon 12 K Shierlaw 13 R Saulitis 14 H Priest 15 N Exon 16 P Kelly 17 C Greiser 18 T Lucas-Rodd 21 G Patrikios 22 T Luke 23 O Vesely 25 R Dillon 27 N Xenos 28 N Von Bertouch 29 T White 34 T Meyer 35 C Phillips 36 J Van Dyk

Darcy Guttridge and Rhiannon Watt not named.


Richmond v Western Bulldogs

Saturday 16 January at Swinburne Centre

"Fans can follow live updates via the Richmond Women's Twitter and Instagram accounts."

"Updates available via the Western Bulldogs AFLW social media channels."

RICHMOND
1 S Molan 2 P Monahan 3 K Brennan 4 M Conti 5 M Brancatisano 6 S Bernardi 7 S Hosking 8 C Wakefield 9 H Burchell 10 K Jacques 11 A Edmonds 12 S D'Arcy 14 S Frederick 15 R Miller 16 L McClelland 17 S Dargan 18 S Sansonetti 19 K Dempsey 21 I Ross 22 E McKenzie 23 H Cordner 26 L Lesosky-Hay 28 G Seymour 29 H McLaren 34 A Makur Chuot 37 T Lavey

Tayla Stahl not named.

WESTERN BULLDOGS
1 B Lochland 2 E Blackburn 3 I Grant 4 I Huntington 7 D Berry 8 B Toogood 9 E Brown 10 K Lynch 11 L Spark 12 G Lagioia 13 C Moody 14 E Gamble 15 S Hartwig 16 N Ferres 17 E Georgostathis 18 B Gutknecht 19 A Guest 20 I Pritchard 21 B Hunt 23 J Fitzgerald 24 K Rennie 25 N Morris-Dalton 26 D Marshall 27 K Lamb 28 A Van Osterwijck 36 A Gogos

Gabrielle Newton, Kirsten McLeod and Hannah Scott (ankle) not named.


Gold Coast v Brisbane

Saturday 16 January at Metricon 2

GOLD COAST
1 P Parker 2 L Bella 3 T Groves-Little 4 J Hickey 6 M Levi 7 L Ahrens 8 S Riley 10 A Bradfield 11 L Kaslar 12 M Ritson 13 L Single 14 S Watson 15 W Randell 16 B Perry 17 J Stanton 18 J Baird 20 D D'Arcy 22 S Virgo 23 K Howarth 24 H Dunn 25 D Heslop 26 K Surman 28 S Perkins 29 C Hammond 30 B Keaney 33 A Drennan 42 J Pregelj

Emma Pittman and Ellie Hampson not named.

BRISBANE
1 E Bates 2 J Zanchetta 3 B Koenen 5 J Ellenger 8 E Zielke 9 O O’Dwyer 10 N Grider 11 R Lugg 12 S Conway 13 K Lutkins 14 D Davidson 15 G Bodey 16 L Arnell 17 I Dawes 18 A Anderson 19 S Priest 20 S Campbell 21 C Hodder 22 Z Farquharson 23 J Wuetschner 24 T Hickie 25 C Svarc 26 I Tahau 27 J Keeffe 28 M Moloney 29 R Svarc 30 J Wardlaw 31 T Smith 32 B Pinchin

Lily Postlethwaite not named.
 

Purple_Turtle

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Teams for Saturday's practice matches.

West Coast v Fremantle

Saturday 16 January at Mineral Resources Park

WEST COAST
1 M Bowen 2 K Gibson 3 B Green 6 I Lewis 7 S Goranova 8 M Collier 9 A Atkins 10 E Smith 11 A McCarthy 13 E Swanson 14 B Smith 15 G Kelly 17 D Hooker 20 T Bresland 22 A Gilmore 23 D Liddle 24 H Bullas 25 P Laurie 26 L Gauci 27 J Low 28 S Davison 32 K Orme 33 A Ward 35 S McDonald 37 R Walsh

Imahra Cameron, Niamh Kelly and Chantella Perera among the notable players not named.

FREMANTLE
1 A Sharp 2 K Bowers 3 E O'Driscoll 4 A Stannett 5 S Verrier 6 S Duffy 7 J Stewart 8 E Gooch 12 E Antonio 13 K-J Grieve 14 M Hyde 16 M MacLachlan 17 R Roux 18 P Seth 19 H Miller 20 S Cain 22 G O'Sullivan 23 M Sergeant 26 B Webb 27 G Houghton 29 J Cuthbertson 32 L Pugh 33 T Haynes 44 S Wielstra 55 J Briggs

Kara Antonio and Mim Strom not named.


Geelong v Melbourne

Saturday 16 January at GMHBA Stadium

GEELONG
1 R Caris 3 A McDonald 4 D Moloney 5 J Ivey 6 J Crockett-Grills 10 G Rankin 11 M McDonald 12 R Garing 14 A O'Connor 15 O Barber 16 O Purcell 17 G Clarke 18 L Gardiner 19 M Brown 20 M Skinner 21 R Webster 22 N Garner 23 P McWilliams 25 S Williams 26 M Boyd 27 S Van De Heuvel 28 D Taylor 29 C Remmos 30 R Cranston 44 R Goring 45 M Keryk

Danielle Higgins, Nina Morrison and Maddy McMahon not named.

MELBOURNE
1 T Cunningham 2 M Downie 4 K Paxman 5 T Hanks 6 D Pearce 9 E Birch 10 K Hore 11 C Emonson 12 S Scott 13 M Kendall 14 L Mithen 15 L Pearce 16 A Bannan 18 C Sherriff 19 J Parry 20 B Tarrant 21 M Caris 22 E McNamara 24 M Fitzsimon 25 I Simmons 29 E Zanker 30 S Heath 31 K Petrevski 32 G Colvin

Maddison Gay not named.


Carlton v St Kilda

Saturday 16 January, 1pm at Ikon Park

"Live coverage will be available via Twitter and Instagram with more photos, interviews and a full-wrap available on the website following the game."

CARLTON
BBrooke VernonMua Laloifi
HBNat PlaneCharlotte WilsonKerryn Harrington
C/RLauren BrazzaleMaddy PrespakisAbbie McKayMimi HillBreann MoodyElise O'Dea
HFCharlotte HammansNic StevensGeorgia Gee
FDarcy VescioSerena Gibbs
INTWinnie LaingJess HoskingMaddy GuerinCourtney JonesLucy McEvoyJess Edwards
Brooke WalkerAlison DownieDaisy Walker

Grace Egan, Katie Loynes, Gabriella Pound and Tayla Harris the notable absent names there.

ST KILDA
1 M McDonald 2 A Browne 3 A Burke 4 C Whitfort 6 T Smith 8 B Jakobsson 9 K McCarthy 10 J Vogt 11 I Shannon 12 K Shierlaw 13 R Saulitis 14 H Priest 15 N Exon 16 P Kelly 17 C Greiser 18 T Lucas-Rodd 21 G Patrikios 22 T Luke 23 O Vesely 25 R Dillon 27 N Xenos 28 N Von Bertouch 29 T White 34 T Meyer 35 C Phillips 36 J Van Dyk

Darcy Guttridge and Rhiannon Watt not named.


Richmond v Western Bulldogs

Saturday 16 January at Swinburne Centre

"Fans can follow live updates via the Richmond Women's Twitter and Instagram accounts."

"Updates available via the Western Bulldogs AFLW social media channels."

RICHMOND
1 S Molan 2 P Monahan 3 K Brennan 4 M Conti 5 M Brancatisano 6 S Bernardi 7 S Hosking 8 C Wakefield 9 H Burchell 10 K Jacques 11 A Edmonds 12 S D'Arcy 14 S Frederick 15 R Miller 16 L McClelland 17 S Dargan 18 S Sansonetti 19 K Dempsey 21 I Ross 22 E McKenzie 23 H Cordner 26 L Lesosky-Hay 28 G Seymour 29 H McLaren 34 A Makur Chuot 37 T Lavey

Tayla Stahl not named.

WESTERN BULLDOGS
1 B Lochland 2 E Blackburn 3 I Grant 4 I Huntington 7 D Berry 8 B Toogood 9 E Brown 10 K Lynch 11 L Spark 12 G Lagioia 13 C Moody 14 E Gamble 15 S Hartwig 16 N Ferres 17 E Georgostathis 18 B Gutknecht 19 A Guest 20 I Pritchard 21 B Hunt 23 J Fitzgerald 24 K Rennie 25 N Morris-Dalton 26 D Marshall 27 K Lamb 28 A Van Osterwijck 36 A Gogos

Gabrielle Newton, Kirsten McLeod and Hannah Scott (ankle) not named.


Gold Coast v Brisbane

Saturday 16 January at Metricon 2

GOLD COAST
1 P Parker 2 L Bella 3 T Groves-Little 4 J Hickey 6 M Levi 7 L Ahrens 8 S Riley 10 A Bradfield 11 L Kaslar 12 M Ritson 13 L Single 14 S Watson 15 W Randell 16 B Perry 17 J Stanton 18 J Baird 20 D D'Arcy 22 S Virgo 23 K Howarth 24 H Dunn 25 D Heslop 26 K Surman 28 S Perkins 29 C Hammond 30 B Keaney 33 A Drennan 42 J Pregelj

Emma Pittman and Ellie Hampson not named.

BRISBANE
1 E Bates 2 J Zanchetta 3 B Koenen 5 J Ellenger 8 E Zielke 9 O O’Dwyer 10 N Grider 11 R Lugg 12 S Conway 13 K Lutkins 14 D Davidson 15 G Bodey 16 L Arnell 17 I Dawes 18 A Anderson 19 S Priest 20 S Campbell 21 C Hodder 22 Z Farquharson 23 J Wuetschner 24 T Hickie 25 C Svarc 26 I Tahau 27 J Keeffe 28 M Moloney 29 R Svarc 30 J Wardlaw 31 T Smith 32 B Pinchin

Lily Postlethwaite not named.
Any idea what's going on Mikayla Hyde, Jade Briggs and Sarah Wielstra for Freo? Are they replacing our injured players for the season or just this one hit-out?
 

Teen Wolf

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Any idea what's going on Mikayla Hyde, Jade Briggs and Sarah Wielstra for Freo? Are they replacing our injured players for the season or just this one hit-out?
Worth noting Fremantle's own media release doesn't include them in the selected team. And no official replacement has been announced for Tighe or Mascall yet, as opposed to McLachlan who was signed in place of Trend.

So those three players you mention are just train-ons at this stage, essentially vying to be signed as top-up players (unless there's been some news that I've missed).
 

TheTassieHawk

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Worth noting Fremantle's own media release doesn't include them in the selected team. And no official replacement has been announced for Tighe or Mascall yet, as opposed to McLachlan who was signed in place of Trend.

So those three players you mention are just train-ons at this stage, essentially vying to be signed as top-up players (unless there's been some news that I've missed).
I reckon Hyde and Wielstra would be well ahead for the 2 open spots unless Briggs plays out of her skin or the others have a complete shocker.

It is a little strange that last year all teams were naming and playing small practice match squads but this year are going for the opposite approach. That is not to say they won’t cut numbers on the day though.
 

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