Fremantle’s AFLW squad are relishing the opportunity to play at some of the most iconic football grounds in the country, as Freo ticks over the halfway point of their three-week stint on the eastern coast.

Whitten Oval, Punt Road and Victoria Park are just three of the historic venues that Fremantle will have played at, following Thursday night’s round four clash with Collingwood.


Senior coach Trent Cooper said it felt like a call back to his younger self, as he remembered being enthralled with the famous grounds as a young footy fan.

“Personally, I love it. I grew up watching ‘The Winners’ on a Sunday night and that’s where all the VFL footy was played at that time,” Cooper said.

“I’ve got a great affinity from afar of watching games at these venues back in my youth, so to be back here and coaching is personally quite a thrill.”

For the Fremantle coaching staff, it has also served as an opportunity to educate the playing group about some of the historic moments that have taken place at these grounds.

Cooper believes the smaller-sized and more intimate venues also lends itself well to hosting women’s football.

“For the players, who are a fair bit younger than me, we’re even talking to the group about some of the historic things that have happened here,” Cooper said.

“We spoke about the famous Nicky Winmar moment and the significance of the ground itself, when we were out at Victoria Park for training the other day."

- Trent Cooper

“It’s great to be able to educate the players as well about the history of these places.

“I must say the grounds are looking a lot different to what they did back in the day and the surfaces are a lot better than the muddy deck we used to see back in the ‘80s and ‘90s!

“The other thing is, they are smaller venues which give a great atmosphere and is perfect for AFLW football.”

Round three saw Freo run away with a 30-point win over Richmond at the Swinburne Centre (Punt Road) last Saturday, a ground that the players instantly took a liking to.

“Punt Road has been one of the girls’ favourites so far, they loved the surface, the old stands and the atmosphere there,” Cooper said.

“They were very happy with that venue, and they loved being able to play there.”

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Meanwhile, Victoria Park has become the oval of choice for the Club’s main training base, using the opportunities throughout the week to get accustomed to the quirks of the ground.

“That was strategic in that we knew that one of our hardest games while we were away would be played at Victoria Park (against Collingwood),” Cooper said.

“It’s a very distinct oval, and quite different from others with a few peculiarities with the way it slopes and the way the wind blows.

“It’s been good to get a few sessions in there, and the girls feel very comfortable in that environment, so it’s been a bit like a home away from home.

“Hopefully, it will feel like that when we play Collingwood there on Thursday.”

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