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Cowan: Hitting targets the key

Michelle Cowan addressed the media on Wednesday morning. Michelle Cowan chats to the media ahead of Freos's clash at Optus Stadium.

There was a clear tale of two halves in Fremantle’s round one AFLW loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday at VU Whitten Oval, making it easy for senior coach Michelle Cowan to find a focus in the side’s plans to bounce back in round two.

Fremantle will face Collingwood on Saturday at Optus Stadium, with more than 40,000 fans expected to turn up in support of the club’s debut at the ground.

Cowan is seeking a better all round performance against the Magpies after a slow start against the Bulldogs on Sunday. 

The team improved their ball movement in the second half, Fremantle booted three majors and outscored their opponents after trailing by 34 points at half time.

Cowan said hitting targets by hand and foot was Freo's No.1 training focus, and believed that scoring in the competition would increase as skills improved.

"I think it might be a skill thing, but I've seen that improve over the last 12 months, which has been great," she said.

"As that continues to improve girls will be able to move the footy a lot cleaner and easier and hitting up their targets, which will all contribute to higher scoring as well.

"It's been something that we worked on hard. Our number one focus throughout our season was our skills and making sure we can hit our targets by hand and by foot.

"Certainly, from our club we've seen a massive increase in that."

Cowan declared the hype around the first Australian rules football game at Optus Stadium wouldn't affect Freo's planning for the historic clash. 

The Freo Dockers' women will host the first ever football match at the new venue and on Wednesday released an extra 2500-3000 tickets for the clash.

Entry is $2 with proceeds donated to the Starlight Children's Foundation and Fremantle Dockers Foundation.

With a near-capacity crowd expected, it will shatter the previous record attendance for an AFLW game, and Cowan said her players could lean on Freo's men's side for advice about what to expect.

"We'll touch on the atmosphere. While it's another game it's slightly different with the amount of crowd and everything like that," Cowan said.

"We've got some incredible people around the footy club that the girls can bounce off and have some conversations.”

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