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Fremantle captain Kara Donnellan has been withdrawn from Fremantle’s squad that will face Melbourne on Saturday at Casey Fields in Victoria.
Donnellan didn’t complete Thursday night’s training session, and was subsequently withdrawn from the squad due to a high-grade quad strain that will sideline her for up to eight weeks.
The news comes as a blow to a Fremantle side looking to continue their momentum after last week’s historic first win in the NAB AFL Women’s competition against Carlton.
Cowan acknowledged the contribution of Donnellan as a player and a leader, but was confident that Fremantle was remaining focused on finishing the season with a victory.
“Kara’s had an incredible AFLW season and contributed really consistently throughout the entire season,” Cowan said.
“We’d love to have her out there but she’s handled it exceptionally well and it gives someone else an opportunity.
“We’ve got a lot to play for and we really want to see another consistent team effort with the 22 girls out there performing at their best.”
The injury opens the door for co-vice captain Kirby Bentley to lead the side for the final game of the season.
Cowan expects Bentley to embrace her experience as captain, with the 30-year-old well known for her contribution to women’s football in WA.
“I know Kirby will be really honoured with the opportunity, it’s always an amazing opportunity to captain an AFL footy club.
“She’s an exceptional leader and the girls really are inspired and empowered by her.”