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An eye on AFLW future at U18s

We sat down with Michelle Cowan ahead of the NAB AFLW U18 Championships. We sat down with Michelle Cowan ahead of the NAB AFLW U18 Championships.

Senior women's coach Michelle Cowan and her list management team head east this week with an eye on the future at round two of the NAB AFLW Under-18s Championships on the Gold Coast.

There could be a number of future Fremantle players competing at this competition for WA, with up to seven spots available on Freo’s list heading into the 2018 season.

Those seven spots will likely be comprised of players at the U18 championships that are of draft age, as well as those that impress during the WAWFL season and during Fremantle’s talent search days. 

An additional three rookie spots are available on Fremantle’s lists for players who have not played AFL or been involved in any AFL programs over the past three years.

Cowan highlighted that the WA side will be her main focus at the championship as Freo looks to field an all-WA side once again in 2018.

“Fielding an all-WA side is something that we’re really passionate about,” Cowan said.

“We want to grow and support the WA talent here and we’re looking forward to building our list and once again being the only team in AFLW to have 100 per cent of players from the home state.

“It’s exciting for our list and we’re looking at keeping it that way.” 

WA head into round two of the championships with a 1-1 record after a close loss to Queensland and a resounding 87-point victory over NSW/ACT in round one, played in May in South Australia.

WA in action against Queensland. Photo: Phil Barnes

WA play three games in the space of a week, staring on Monday against Vic Metro followed by fixtures on Wednesday against the Allies and Friday against Vic Country.

Cowan knows the challenge that lies ahead for WA, coaching the WA to a victory in 2014 – becoming the first state outside of Victoria to lift the trophy.

“I’m really looking forward to heading over to the Gold Coast with our list management team,” Cowan said.

“We’ll get a really good opportunity to have a look at our WA girls.

“We’ve got 20 girls signed onto our list currently with another seven spots to fill through this under 18s championships, our trial days and the draft.

“It’s a really exciting time at the footy club as well look to build the back end of our list and build a really strong team for 2018.

“I know the under 18s have prepared really well and we’re looking forward to seeing the girls in this tournament and showcasing what they have to offer.” 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs