Women's Footy AFLW Season 2024 - GWS Giants

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Nov 23, 2015
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There's a 2024 AFLW season ahead somewhere. In the meantime, I thought I'd kick off the 2024 thread with this afl.com.au article on our possible best 21. Good luck for the season, ladies.


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B: Pepa Randall, Katherine Smith
HB: Tarni Evans, Jas Grierson, Cambridge McCormick
C: Madison Brazendale, Emily Pease, Chloe Dalton
HF: Zarlie Goldsworthy, Georgia Garnett, Mikayla Pauga
F: Isabel Huntington, Jess Doyle
FOLL: Fleur Davies, Alyce Parker, Rebecca Beeson
I/C: Kaitlyn Srhoj, Haneen Zreika, Alicia Eva, Nicola Barr, Brodee Mowbray*
*ACL injury

Depth: Annise Bradfield, Meghan Gaffney, Indigo Linde, Caitlin Miller, Courtney Murphy, Aliesha Newman, Claire Ransom, Daisy Walker

Note: Greater Western Sydney has one list spot left to fill

Given the turnover of nearly a third of the Giants' list heading into the 2024 season, it will no doubt take some time for the club to find its best combination. No doubt Alyce Parker and Zarlie Goldsworthy will continue their midfield/forward rotation that proved successful last year, with Emily Pease a genuine chance to add to that mix. Depending on how Indigo Linde develops, she may be a chance to push Cambridge McCormick out of a key defensive role, while Courtney Murphy might be needed to add height in attack. Brodee Mowbray, on the way back from an ACL injury, will likely provide a small forward position for either Caitlin Miller or Aliesha Newman early in the season.
 
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In an interesting development ...

Swans and GIANTS to compete in part of the VFLW season

In a change to the VFLW fixture for season 2024, the Sydney Swans and GWS GIANTS will compete in part of the season, with each New South Wales-based club to play five matches against VFLW clubs from Rounds 3-7 of the home-and-away season. These matches will be played for premiership points for the competing VFLW clubs.

Details of matches involving the Swans and the GIANTS will be confirmed when the full VFLW fixture is released.
 

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GREATER Western Sydney is set to finalise its 2024 AFLW list in the coming days with the signing of Irish rookie Eilish O'Dowd. A Gaelic football teammate of Brisbane premiership defender Jen Dunne, the pair won a premiership together with Dublin last year. Eilish (pronounced Aay-lish) O'Dowd plays through the midfield in Gaelic football, and has previously represented her home county Leitrim.
 
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The GIANTS’ AFLW side has finalised its list for the 2024 AFLW season, signing athletic Irish rookie Eilish O’Dowd.

Hailing from the small town of Ballinamore, Ireland, O’Dowd joins the GIANTS after playing an instrumental role in Dublin wining the All-Ireland Gaelic Championship last year. Having represented her county in Gaelic football at the highest level since juniors, the 25-year-old becomes the fourth Irish player signed by the GIANTS’ AFLW side since 2016.

Standing at 180cm tall, O’Dowd boasts a range of physical attributes the GIANTS believe will translate well into the AFLW system. Taking little time to make a strong first impression, O’Dowd equalled the club’s all-time AFLW record for the 1.6km time trial on Monday at the VAILO Community Centre.

GIANTS Executive General Manager - Football Strategy and Operations, Briana Harvey, said the club is thrilled to welcome O’Dowd to the GIANTS. “Eilish has been a star of Gaelic football back home for some time and after keeping a close eye on her last season we are rapt to have her become a GIANT for season 2024,” Harvey said. “She has some very strong physical attributes that we think we can translate really well to AFLW and we’re excited by her versatility and her ability to play a variety of roles. Eilish’s aerobic capacity is at an elite level and seeing her tie the record for the ‘GIANT Mile’ yesterday was awesome to see and we’re excited about what she can bring to the group. Our list for the 2024 season is now complete and we can’t wait to utilise the upcoming VFLW season to get a head start on our preparations and be raring to go come the start of the AFLW season later in the year.”

This year the GIANTS will take part in the VFLW competition for the first time since 2019, playing five games for premiership points across the season. Consisting of the majority of the club’s AFLW side, the GIANTS will kickstart their VFLW campaign against Carlton on Saturday, April 6 at Ikon Park.
 
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AFLW coach Cam Bernasconi says the foundations have been laid for the 2024 AFLW campaign following a successful two-month training block which saw the GIANTS unveil some exciting new talent as the club went undefeated in its return to the VFLW.

Re-introduced to the VFLW this year for the first time since 2019, the GIANTS finished unbeaten across their five matches from rounds 3-7 to get an invaluable jumpstart on their upcoming AFLW pre-season, starting in June. “It was a really positive few months for the program,” Bernasconi said on Monday. “We came back in March and had a really good training block with a really clear focus to work on our fundamentals and the physical components of our game. We focused on building a really strong foundation to start the season and the girls set a lot of ‘PBs’ [personal bests] in the gym and we really improved our fundamentals which allows us to really take a step forward and add a bit more detail when we start pre-season. Then the cherry on top was that we played five games and had really successful games in the VFLW which was really enjoyable.”

Bernasconi said another benefit of the VFLW stint was allowing the club’s host of fresh faces to settle into their new surroundings. “We brought in eight new players this year so the ability to have them come in and play 20 quarters before we start official pre-season in June is a massive advantage to us,” he said. “The girls can now understand how we want to play as a team, they can understand their role a little bit more, but more importantly it helps them become more comfortable. Now when they walk through the doors in that first week of June, they won’t be ultra-nervous anymore - they’ll know the coaches, they’ll know the players, and really feel comfortable and [hopefully] have a really strong pre-season. Every [new] player that’s come in has really shown why we want them in the orange and charcoal. They’ve all had a really good couple of months, and you can really see they can flourish in this system.”

Turning his attention to slightly more established GIANTS, the third-year head coach pointed to two youngsters as ones to watch for the 2024 AFLW season after starring on the track. “There’s a few of them that have really stood forward, but there’s probably two that come to mind straight away and that’s Madi Brazendale and Cambridge McCormick,” he said.

“They are two players I think we will see take a big step forward and they’ll play crucial parts in the way that we want to play. They’re coming into their third season as well, so, similar to myself, you get a bit more comfortable and work out what works and what doesn’t. ‘Cambo’ [McCormick] is a hybrid defender that can intercept and defend really well and then Madi Brazendale broke our time trial record two weeks ago and I think she’s going to take the competition by storm on the wing running up and down - which is really exciting.”

Another impressing Bernasconi is recent draftee Kaitlyn Srhoj, who the GIANTS took with pick three in last year’s AFLW Draft following the gun midfielder’s starring season with Peel Thunder in the WAFL, as well as her dominant form for Western Australia in the Under-18 National Championships. “She’s a ripper,” he said. “From her first [VFLW} game to game five, she had immense growth. She’s a pleasure to coach and I know the girls have wrapped their arms around her and I think she’s going to be a really important player for us for years to come, but even straight away this season. She was our only player that attended and completed every single session and the fact she can stay fit and healthy to do that is really pleasing.”

The GIANTS’ AFLW list will now complete home programs over the next four weeks before returning to the club for the official start of AFLW pre-season in early June.
 
An analysis of our 5 match VFLW pilot this year - generally it seems to be a positive, and hopefully will be repeated to give our AFLW team some experience before the start of the AFLW season.

GREATER Western Sydney and Sydney have completed their five-week stints in the VFLW competition, but not everything quite went to plan.

Both teams were thrilled with the development gained over the period, particularly for their new and inexperienced players, but most Victorian-based VFLW sides were only fielding a handful of AFLW players – in some cases, none at all.



 
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An analysis of our 5 match VFLW pilot this year - generally it seems to be a positive, and hopefully will be repeated to give our AFLW team some experience before the start of the AFLW season.

GREATER Western Sydney and Sydney have completed their five-week stints in the VFLW competition, but not everything quite went to plan.

Both teams were thrilled with the development gained over the period, particularly for their new and inexperienced players, but most Victorian-based VFLW sides were only fielding a handful of AFLW players – in some cases, none at all.
That's a good article to put it all in perspective. It seems GWS went in with fewer AFLW-listed players than Sydney, so didn't get the same level of "blowout" wins as they did (except when they were evenly matched in AFLW-listed players against Collingwood and lost), but that meant it was probably a better hitout for us with the junior players getting more exposure.

Look, in the end, we can only deal with what the other teams are prepared to put up against us, but I think it was worthwhile for our newer, inexperienced and fringe players.
 

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