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AFLW squad: Atkins set for return

AFLW: Cooper on team selection round 2 Trent Cooper talks who is in and who is out for round 2 of the AFLW

Fremantle is set to add to its forward firepower with the potential return of Ashley Atkins for Sunday’s round two clash with Brisbane at Fremantle Oval.

Atkins and Brianna Moyes, who is yet to debut for Fremantle, have been named on the bench in Fremantle’s extended squad of 23 for the clash.

If Moyes is selected in the final team of 21, she will become Fremantle’s seventh AFLW debutant this season.

Atkins played all seven games of her debut season in 2018 and missed Freo’s thrilling four-point win in round one due to suspension.

Atkins’ availability means Fremantle have a nearly full-strength squad to pick from to face Brisbane, who triumphed by two points in round one against GWS.

Senior coach Trent Cooper said it will be difficult to fit anyone into the team.

“Ashley Atkins and Brianna Moyes come into the squad,” Cooper said.

“Ashley will add a lot to our side with forward pressure and she can hit the scoreboard as well, but every spot is still up for grabs.

"It’s very hard to take anyone out of the side that performed so well at Casey Fields.”

Fremantle is yet to beat Brisbane in the AFLW and Cooper is expecting another big test against the Lions.

“Brisbane are the most winning side in the AFLW so far but have been very unlucky not to win at least one premiership,” Cooper said.

“They play a very hard, contested, defensive game and they’ve got some quality key forwards and some fast small forwards as well.

“It's crucial that we win the midfield battle and play the game in our front half so we hopefully, won’t have to worry as much about their forwards.” 

Cooper added that he’s excited to see what the team can achieve in front of a vocal home crowd.

“The away support was really great at Casey Fields,” Cooper said.

“This is our chance to get quite a few thousand people down to Freo Oval, make a lot of noise, get behind the girls and give us the advantage over our opposition whenever we do play at home.”

The final team of 21 and two emergencies will be announced at 11am on Friday via fremantlefc.com.au. 

The clash at Fremantle Oval will commence at 3.05pm on Sunday 10 February and will be broadcast live into Perth on Channel 7 and Fox Footy.

SQUAD v BRISBANE
Fremantle Oval, 3.05pm
Backs: Evie Gooch, Tayla Bresland, Ange Stannett
Half Back: Alex Williams, Ebony Antonio, Philipa Seth
Centre: Stephanie Cain
Half Forward: Kellie Gibson, Gemma Houghton, Gabby O’Sullivan
Forwards: Hayley Miller, Ashley Sharp, Kiara Bowers
Ruck/Followers: Parris Laurie, Dana Hooker, Kara Donnellan
Interchange from: Sabreena Duffy, Katie-Jayne Grieve, Laura Pugh, Leah Mascall, Mel Caulfield, Brianna Moyes, Ashlee Atkins

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