With reigning AFLW Best and Fairest Erin Phillips injuring her quad against Brisbane on Saturday night, the Crows stumbled in the grand final re-match going down by 12 points. As the second season of the women’s competition heats up we take a look at the players you need to know this AFLW season.
DAISY PEARCE (Melbourne)
There would be many people who would say ‘hold on we know Daisy Pearce’, but the Demons midfielder continues to take her game to the next level and she is deserving of her place amongst the best in the AFLW.
You need to know this. Daisy Pearce is not satisfied to be at the top of the game. She is showing the hallmarks of true sporting champions, pushing her body and the boundaries of what we can expect from an AFLW midfielder.
Reported to have ‘bulked up’ in a bid to increase her work rate and effectiveness within the Demons engine room, Pearce started the season showing she loves pressure with 13 of her 19 disposals after halftime. The lead changed 3 times in the final quarter before the Demons took a narrow 6 point win over the Giants.
KATIE BRENNAN (Western Bulldogs)
The 25 year old key forward will captain the Bulldogs in 2018. Brennan will be hoping that her body is ready to withstand the rigours of a full season of AFLW as she was restricted to just two games despite making a promising start. According to Champion Data, Brennan is rated as an ‘elite player’ placed in the top 10% for her position.
As we have seen with Collingwood’s Moana Hope who looked in fantastic shape for the season opener against the Blues, the key forwards in the AFLW are heavily impacted by the ability of their midfield to deliver them the ball. Brennan has four other ‘elite’ level players on her side at the Western Bulldogs and her success this season will depend on her ability to get up the ground into the midfield and have an impact if the ball isn’t travelling deep into the forward line.
We’d like to see her have a Buddy Franklin type role where she makes the long leads into the midfield and has her teammates peeling off into a vacant forward 50.
LARA FILOCAMO (Fremantle Dockers)
Filocamo finished third in the inaugural AFLW Best and Fairest award, playing every game and asserting herself as one of the competition’s premier midfielders. Her trademark toughness drew praise in 2017 with Filocamo consistently found at the bottom of packs, tackling hards and with her head over the football.
Extremely unlucky not to be named in the AFLW All-Australian team which in our mind was more a result of her not having the players in the Fremantle midfield to take her to the next level. The Dockers won just the single game and finished second last in 2017.