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Fremantly Football Club

"Significant improvement" at rookie trial day

Senior coach Michelle Cowan spoke to Docker TV after the rookie talent search day. Michelle Cowan chats to Docker TV about Freo's AFLW talent search day.

The hunt is underway for new talent for the 2018 AFLW season, with the first of two AFLW talent search days held over the weekend at Fremantle’s facility in Cockburn Central.

Saturday’s trial held for ‘rookies’, which focuses on women who have not played AFL or been involved in a high performance AFL program in the three years up to 1 April 2017.

There were over 121 girls nominate for the talent search and only 21 of those girls were selected, who all turned up to prove to selectors why they were chosen. 

Senior Coach Michelle Cowan was impressed with the girls’ performances.

“We were really pleased with the talent that came through today,” Cowan said.

“It’s going to make our decision moving forward very difficult, but we’re excited to be in that position.

The day involved a number of trials that included sprints and agility testing, followed by a 2km time trail, football skills and finishing off with some game sense.

This is the second year of holding these trials and Cowan says within twelve months, the standard has improved significantly.

“It’s given the girls something to really aspire to, and we’ve seen significant growth in WA in particular in the past twelve months, and that’s attributed to AFLW competition,” Cowan said.

“ The talent coming through and the girls putting their hand up to be part of a footy club has been exceptional and I’m exited about what we saw today.”

Cowan says throughout the selection process they have to be vigilant with the key players they are looking for to ensure that they get the right fit to fill those spots in the team.

“ There are hundreds and hundreds of girls who want to be on our list here and we’ve got to be really vigilant with who gets a spot on our list and we will do our due diligence along the way and make sure we get the right fit for the footy club…” Cowan said.

Not only did the day involve selectors, coaches and recruitment staff, but also a few Fremantle women’s players doing their own work close by in the gym.

Cowan says it was great to see the girls coming down on the weekend to work on their own strength and ability.

“This is their facility, so we had a couple of them working out behind me in the gym, and they’re here on the weekends working really hard on their strength and physical ability and their football ability as well,” Cowan said.

‘We are one club here and its just great to see the girls get down here and probably have a bit of a sticky beak to see who may potentially be their teammates but also working really hard on themselves and wanting to improve” 

AFLW players Hayley Miller and Amy Lavell follow the trials with interest

Cowan noted that the talent search wouldn’t be possible without the support of our official partner Curtin University who assisted with all the testing taken place on the day.

“Curtin assisted us with all of our testing, they’re a key to us holding this day, so a fantastic partner to the club and we certainly could run a day like today without their support,” Cowan said.

The second talent search day will be held for future AFLW players who wish to nominate for the 2018 AFLW draft on Saturday 9 September. 

Nominations will open via from 9am Tuesday 15 August until 5pm Friday 25 August.

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