Gabby O’Sullivan and Alex Williams can hold their heads high despite East Fremantle’s preliminary final defeat to Peel Thunder last Sunday, according to Fremantle senior coach Trent Cooper.

The Sharks won’t be defending their WAFLW premiership in 2019 with Peel advancing to the grand final to face Subiaco on Saturday at Joondalup Arena.

Instead, O’Sullivan and Williams will turn their attention to the AFLW season after promising seasons.

Already a star at AFLW level, Cooper feels he’s seen O’Sullivan become even more of a damaging player in the 2020 WAFLW season.

“We’ve been rapt with her work, she’s really taken her game to another level this year and we’re looking forward to that translating into the AFLW season,” Cooper said.

“Gabby was probably the best player on the ground (in the preliminary final), she was clearly East Fremantle’s best.

“She played across half forward and on the wing and kicked 2.3. She just kept driving the ball inside when she was moved to the wing and helped out in the backline as well.”

After missing Fremantle’s undefeated 2020 AFLW season as she recovered from an ACL injury, Cooper is excited to welcome Williams back for 2021.

After missing more than a year of football, Williams has used the WAFLW season to get back to her best.

“Alex has really benefited from playing so many WAFLW games,” Cooper said.

“Talking to her after the game, she now feels really comfortable and is ready to come into this AFLW season.

“If she hadn’t played for almost two years, it would have been weighing on her mind all the way through. She’s now really confident that she can come back and perform straight away.”