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The inside word from Cowan

fremantlefc.com.au  October 12, 2017 7:16 PM

Michelle Cowan gives an insight into the preparations ahead of the AFLW Draft next Wednesday.

Ahead of next Wednesday’s AFL Women’s National Draft, AFLW senior coach Michelle Cowan gives an update on the current list, the club’s new recruits and the direction we are headed for 2018.

STATE OF THE CURRENT LIST
Post our AFLW season, we re-signed 18 of our players on our list and we need to complete a list of 30 moving forward. 

It’s really good that we got Kellie Gibson back home from the Adelaide Crows and Alex Williams from GWS, who signed with us through the free agency period.

We now looking forward to Wednesday where we go to the draft and pick up another seven players for our senior list and Friday we will look to complete our list with three rookie players. 

The comraderie between the 18 girls that we resigned is infectious. You wouldn't be able to pick they come from separate WA women’s footy league clubs.

They are just so united, they get around each other and they are really pushing each other to make sure that we get the best out of every body on our list. 

It’s great to see them in the gym and alongside them is Michael Walters doing his work out and Brady Grey working really hard on his rehab.

The integration from a club perspective is fantastic and we keep building on that. I love the energy around the room and around the gym. 

GIBSON AND WILLIAMS
Kellie Gibson is an elite kick and she can go through the midfield and even forward for us. We know that through our 2017 season we needed to get some clean hands and a really elite kick in our forward line.

Alex Williams is an exceptional leader and she will bring some great leadership to our group. She is also fantastic key defender and will play a key role in our backline.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR…
It has been a really busy time for us from April right up until now, to make sure that our list management team get along to every WA women’s footy league game.

We’ve been reviewing those games through vision we have and then sitting down a number of times and making sure we complete our list to be really competitive in 2018.

There are a range of players that we are looking for. We are looking for a key ruck and key forwards and even still a couple of other defenders and midfielders.

To complete our list we have been really vigilant and will have final medicals and character tests and we will sit down for our final list management meeting prior to going to the draft.

TALENT DAYS
We've run a couple of talent days, and we’ve have also run individual talent ID testing as well. It is just to make sure we tick every single box and to get the right people on board. 

Our talent days were really successful. We did a number of tests including, jump, speed testing and also complemented with a 2km time trial that everybody has been through.

For us it’s also the footy skill testing that we do as well, getting girls to have a look at their kicks, marks and handballs and see where their skill level is at to make sure we get the right people.

DRAFT DAY
The AFL build-up the day incredibly well. I remember last year I certainly was nervous myself and I couldn't imagine what the girls were going through.

The fantastic thing is that a number of girls get to live out their dream. To hear their name read out and the opportunity to put on an AFL jumper means dreams coming true for these girls.

Unfortunately, with that some girls do miss out but we are really open to giving those girls honest feedback about what they need to do to improve and to play at the highest level. That's being an elite footballer on and off the field and to make sure they prepare really well and maybe their opportunity will come in 2019.

THE DRAFT PROCESS
As soon as their name is called out, I can’t wait to get on the phone to the girls and congratulate them and have a chat. No doubt many of our playing group will do the same who have re-signed and rally around those girls.

We will give them a bit of a program leading into our pre-season, which commences on 20 November.

PRE-SEASON
We have prepared really well with our coaching group and we continue to meet now to make sure come 20 November we are really ready for our pre-season.

We are really excited about it and can’t wait to get everybody here.

The fantastic thing is, we are at this incredible facility now and the girls are entrenched in this environment.

It’s an elite facility and hopefully that will show with their football on the field as well.

AFLW AT PERTH STADIUM
By the sounds of things we are up against the quality opposition in Collingwood.

That's just going to be fantastic for the footy club.

We’ve got the most members in the AFLW competition and we cant wait to reward them with getting to Perth Stadium and having a feel for what the stadium is. 

Having been there, it’s incredible and I cant wait to be part of that day and even be a spectator because it certainly is an outstanding, state-of-the-art facility.

THE PURPLE ARMY
I absolutely love our supporters, I love that we had the most rally around the purple.

Round two will stick with me forever, the crowd at Fremantle Oval, the sea of purple was absolutely amazing.

Get on board again, because we are really building something special for 2018.

The girls are really driven for our program and for making sure we play a really exciting brand of footy. 

We want you to be part of it and get on board because it’s really exciting.

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