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Cowan sees the bar raised for AFLW 2.0

Senior coach Michelle Cowan is expecting big things from her players in 2018. Michelle Cowan chats to Docker TV about the upcoming AFLW season.

On the cusp of the second NAB AFL Women’s season, senior coach Michelle Cowan says she feels proud of the progress of her side this pre-season.

Fremantle’s first test comes in the Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval on Sunday.

While pleased with Freo’s improvement, Cowan is not expecting any easy games with early signs showing an improved standard across the board for league’s second year.

“I think every team is going to take a significant step forward in this competition, having a second pre-season under their belt,” Cowan said.

“Every team is going to raise the bar and we certainly expect that we’ll do the same.”

Fremantle named an initial squad of 23 on Thursday afternoon with Cowan hinting at a number of debutants for the club, including former GWS Giant Alex Williams and East Fremantle’s Ashlee Atkins.

“We can expect a few debutants,” Cowan said.

“It’s really exciting to get Alex Williams back home and she’s been training really well and is a solid contributor to our team, so we’re looking forward to her getting her opportunity.

“Ashlee Atkins, she’s trained really well and has been amazing through our midfield and even up forward.”

Despite placing a high importance on the experience gained from the first AFLW season, Cowan says she has no concerns about utilising a number of first-year players. 

“I think the all the girls are really prepared,” Cowan said.

“The ones that have an extra season under their belts, they’ve been sharing that knowledge and their experiences from season one, so the new girls have been working extra hard to get prepared and have that knowledge around them as well.”

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