The inclusion of Kira Phillips has the potential to kick-start Fremantle’s forwardline in the NAB AFL Women’s competition, according to senior coach Michelle Cowan.
Phillips has been brought into the side to debut against GWS on Saturday at Blacktown International Sportspark, and the key forward has shown in the past that she has the ability to dominate on the scoreboard.
Playing under assistant coach Martine Pearman at last year’s exhibition game between Fremantle and West Coast, Phillips kicked five goals for the Eagles in a dominant performance.
Phillips also played under Cowan at Melbourne, kicking the winner for the Demons in an exhibition match against the Western Bulldogs in 2015.
The main task for Phillips ahead of the season has been getting her body ready to compete at AFLW level.
“Kira’s has been working really hard on her fitness since joining the club,” Cowan said.
“She’s been working especially hard over the last couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to giving her the opportunity to debut, and I’m sure she’ll embrace it.”
Also coming into the side is defender Ebony Antonio, who missed last week’s loss to Brisbane through suspension.
“Ebony’s a really versatile in for us,” Cowan said.
“She’s great on the half-back line, but she can go through the middle as well and can even be a key target forward for us.
“She brings great leadership, too, so it’s good to have her back in the team.”
Phillips and Antonio’s inclusions come when Fremantle need it most. Both Freo and GWS have started their season with losses in the opening two rounds, and are desperate to get a win on the board to keep their season alive.
“We go into every game competing to win, and the girls will do that this weekend,” Cowan said.
“It’s not an ideal start for us, but we’ve worked really hard on the track this week and we’re looking forward to heading over to Sydney.
“(The Giants) are a great team, and played really well against Carlton last week. They were really hard at the contested ball and are a united team. The girls are looking forward to taking them on and are up for that challenge.
“We’ve got a lot of belief in our group too. They are fantastic footballers who believe in themselves, we’ve just got to tweak a few areas.”