Fremantle’s preparations for the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s season appear on track, with a promising showing in a match simulation against West Coast on Saturday at Victor George Kailis Oval.
The game was a chance for both teams to test their game plans for round one, which commences in three weeks.
It gave new faces Aine Tighe, Kate Flood and Mia-Rae Clifford and draftees Roxy Roux, Mim Strom, Sarah Garstone, Janelle Cuthbertson, Emma O’Driscoll and Bianca Webb the chance to run out in Freo colours for the first time.
Freo’s youngsters held their own against West Coast’s midfield, which included former Freo club champion Dana Hooker and their captain Emma Swanson.
Katie-Jayne Grieve starred in Freo’s five-goal second quarter, and alongside Webb, Jasmin Stewart and Leah Mascall, the engine room ran hard and applied strong pressure to ensure Freo’s forwards had plenty of opportunities.
Gemma Houghton and Sabreena Duffy made the most of their chances as multiple goalkickers, while Roux also hit the scoreboard and showed off her aerial ability with some high-flying contested marks.
Irish recruits Tighe and Flood also impressed and appeared more-than-adept in their first hitouts with the oval ball.
Tighe worked well in the ruck, supported by youngsters Strom and Roux.
Led by Evie Gooch, Fremantle’s backline was able to handle significant periods of West Coast pressure, especially in the first and third term when the Eagles had a strong wind at their backs. A former tennis player, Cuthberson was strong down back and transitioned well to the top level after her season in the WAFLW reserves for Perth Angles.
As captain for the day, Gabby O’Sullivan was as imposing as ever and made a significant contribution to Freo’s pressure on the day.
Fremantle's pre-season continues against Adelaide on Saturday 25 January at David Grays Arena in Mandurah.
While both teams will be allowed an extended bench for the clash, Cooper will be eyeing off a starting 21 for round one, played at Fremantle Oval against Geelong on Sunday 9 February.
Bouncedown for the pre-season clash against the Crows is at 4pm. Entry is free and all Freo fans are encouraged to come down and show their support.