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AFLW team: One change for Kangaroos clash

AFLW: Rd 7 Team Selection Trent Coopers runs through the team to take on North Melbourne this Saturday at Fremantle Oval.

Fremantle have made one change ahead of their clash with North Melbourne on Saturday at Fremantle Oval.

Kellie Gibson replaces Alex Williams, who ruptured her ACL in last Saturday’s win against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium.

Gibson missed the game against Geelong after suffering concussion in Freo’s round five win against the Western Bulldogs, but AFLW senior coach Trent Cooper said Gibson would slot straight back into the team.

“Obviously with an unfortunate injury Alex Williams comes out of the side, but we do get Kellie Gibson back in,” Cooper said.

“Given the six-day break between games Kellie missed last week but she has passed all her tests for this weekend and she is ready to go.”

Cooper said Williams injury was a blow for the club, but there were plenty of players who could fill the spot Williams leaves in Freo’s defence.

“It’s a devastating loss for the team, not just the way she plays but also what she brings to the group,” Cooper said.

“We are rapt that Alex will still be around, she has a long career in front of her and I’m looking forward to watching that unfold, but for this week we will have to find other options.”

Ebony Antonio is an obvious choice to move into Freo’s backline. The versatile key position player has played forward for the majority of this season but was an All Australian defender in 2018.

“We have a few options, Ebony Antonio is the obvious choice, she is one that can go back, Sabreena Duffy was also an All Australian under 18’s defender last year, and Kara Donnellan can play back, we have used her down there already this season,” Cooper said.

“Matilda Sergeant can also play half-back. We have lots of options and flexibility, which you need in the modern game.”

A win for Fremantle will secure them a place in the AFLW Preliminary Finals and Copper is encouraging Fremantle fans to turn out in force to help the girls get a cross the line.

“The home ground advantage is huge for us, we’ve won every game at home this season,” Cooper said.

“We’ve had big crowds all year and the noise they make is massive, hopefully we can get an even bigger crowd on Saturday and use that to our advantage.”

 Sabreena Duffy, Tayla Bresland, Ange Stannett
Half backs: Kara Donnellan, Evie Gooch, Philipa Seth
Centre: Kiara Bowers
Half forwards: Ashlee Atkins, Ebony Antonio, Hayley Miller
Forwards: Kellie Gibson, Gemma Houghton, Ashley Sharp
Ruck/Followers: Parris Laurie, Dana Hooker, Stephanie Cain
Interchange: Leach Mascall, Alicia Janz, Gabby O’Sullivan, Matilda Sergeant, Mel Caulfield
Emergencies: Laura Pugh, Katie-Jayne Grieve

Fremantle v North Melbourne
Saturday 16 March, 4.10pm
Fremantle Oval – Free Entry