Fremantle’s AFLW leadership group has been locked in for the 2020 season, with new member Hayley Miller voted in by her peers.
Miller is the sole new face in the group, with Kara Antonio, Ebony Antonio, Gabby O’Sullivan and Kiara Bowers continuing their leadership roles.
Kara Antonio will skipper the team for a fourth consecutive season, voted in once again by her peers as captain.
Miller said the leadership recognition is an opportunity she will look to grab with both hands.
“I’m obviously really excited, it’s probably something I’ve been working towards for the last couple of years,” Miller said.
“Although I don’t feel like I need the title as such to show my leadership skills, to be voted in by your peers is something I hold in very high regard.
“I’m really excited, and the responses from the girls and the staff so far have been really positive.
Miller enjoyed a successful 2019, playing all but one game for Fremantle and capping off a strong year by taking home the WAFLW Fairest and Best award in September.
Miller said a key focus for the 2020 leadership group will be placed on empowering as many teammates as possible to display their own leadership qualities within the group.
When describing her own leadership style, the midfielder aimed for a healthy mix between being vocal out on the track and leading by example with action.
“If there is a teaching opportunity, I’ll definitely try to use that and voice my opinion when needed,” Miller said.
“I try to knuckle down and work really hard and if girls see you doing that it often drives others.
“I definitely do try and come forward and offer my expertise and experience when it’s needed but the rest of the time I try to lead by example and do the best that I can.”
Miller said the appointment of ‘Juddy’ for her fourth year as captain came as no surprise and couldn’t think of a better person to lead from the front.
“There is some sort of unwritten understanding among the group that she is the best person for the job,” Miller said.
“Her influence on games and around the club is just monumental.
“There wouldn’t be anyone else that I’d want as my captain.”
AFLW senior coach Trent Cooper acknowledged the strength of the team’s leadership group.
“Hayley was captain of the Subiaco Football club for the past two years so she will make a great addition to our leadership group,” Cooper said.
“It’s great to have that consistency with Kara Antonio back as captain.
“But even more importantly is how well regarded she is by our playing group, our coaching staff and the whole club.”