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AFLW: Cooper post-match Q & A - Rd 5 v Bulldogs

AFLW post-match: Dockers Watch Fremantle's press conference after round 5 match against the Western Bulldogs

Trent, given what was on the line, one of the club’s biggest wins?

I would say so. It’s an opposition which we’ve had trouble with in the past. We sort of dominated the inside 50’s and probably should have been further ahead but when they levelled up in the last quarter I was really pleased with the mental resilience of the group to finish off strongly. We thought we could, but under pressure you just never know where it’s going to go and we responded well to record a really important win.

How important is it to have your destiny in your hands?

It’s not a nice way to do anything when you’re relying on others and that would have been the case today if we had have lost so we are taking one week at a time, but we know that if we keep winning, destiny is in our hands, so it’s good to watch the other games next week and not have to barrack for anyone because we know it’s in our hands.

Kiara Bowers today, one of the best individual games in the history of the Fremantle AFLW club?

No doubt. I spoke to her before the game – I thought she was great last week, when we were getting beaten she still had 20 touches and ten tackles. I spoke to her before the game and said I think everyone is ready to jump on board with you today, just let it rip. She probably didn’t have her best first half, but 23 touches and 16 tackles is just phenomenal. She is definitely not a one-way player; her defensive work is as good as any player in the comp midfield-wise so we are very lucky to have her on board.

Seeing her play week to week Trent, do you feel like she is improving with every game?

Yeah, she had a great round two, but her training is elite. I hadn’t seen her before this year and we tried to get her to do a few drills at 50% and that just doesn’t happen so we had to actually, physically, take her out of the drills because she just can’t go at 50%. So she was always going to start pretty well once she got in, and I think two games just to get the cobwebs out a bit and now we are seeing what she can really do.

Kelly Gibson, her best game as well today, kicking three goals.

I was really happy with her game, I have been really happy with her games all year. I thought she was outstanding last week. Firstly, she had ten touches in the first half when the ball wasn’t coming down there, so she probably worked hard last week and didn’t get the reward and the footy gods paid her back today with three, so it’s good.

Sabreena Duffy, had a bit of a quiet first half but then had a hand in all three goals in the last quarter

Yeah, as a coach you shouldn’t ask for replays, you should be concentrating on the next play but I needed to see that goal so I had it replayed in the box. It was a pretty good goal. She made a couple of blues but as an eighteen-year-old she is going to do that, but she is just a classy footy player and you know that if the ball’s in her hands then things are going to happen for us.

Gibson hurt at the end, Stannett knee tweak and Evie Gooch out before the game, how are they feeling?

Evie should be right, I’m hoping. It was a calf, a minor one but we were playing a couple of players who maybe we weren’t 100% sure. Janz coming off her injury, Tildy’s first game back coming off the injury as well so we didn’t want to take a risk with too many. Gibbo’s fine, she got a knock, we were up at that stage, she’s an important player and there is no point risking her but she’s reported to be 100%. Ange Stannett, she did a really good job – I don’t think it was a knee in the end, it might have been a hamstring tightness but she fought through really well and finished the game so we will just have to assess her with the six-day break but she did a great job to keep going. 

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