To kick off Fremantle’s AFL Women’s pre-season, star forward Gabby O’Sullivan laid a challenge down to the playing group to see if anyone could dethrone Freo’s perennial time trial champion, Kiara Bowers.

In the 2km run last week, O’Sullivan did her best to finish third but it was Bowers who reigned supreme with another win.

The light-hearted challenge was made as the team came together for the first time since the 2020 season was cancelled, putting an end to Fremantle’s unbeaten year.

“There’s no surprises for Kiara Bowers winning. She’s never been beaten in a 2km time trial and I said the other day, I would give $100 to anyone that ended her streak, which ‘Turbo’ (Bowers) didn’t think was fair,” O’Sullivan told Sport FM.

“I think my money is pretty safe at the moment!”

The pre-season will be O’Sullivan’s fifth for Fremantle and the 26-year-old said the club had come a long way since its first season in 2017.

“We have some more experience, with our coaches and people available to us, which in turn, is making us play and perform at a higher level,” O’Sullivan said.

“I think we’ve got higher expectations of us now, we know what we are capable of as athletes and we keep raising that bar. 

“We’re also getting kids that are coming in that have never had to drop off football and play all the way through their childhood. 

“The next batch of girls coming through are extremely talented and they’re keeping us on our toes.”

Fremantle have also seen defender Tiah Haynes return to the club after her first stint in the AFLW was cut short due to injury.

Haynes played six games between 2017 and 2018 and was re-drafted by Fremantle in the 2020 draft.

“It’s great to have Tiah Haynes back. She’s been through so much adversity,” O’Sullivan said.

“I played with her in my first year when she had a shoulder and knee injury and she’s worked so hard to get back.

“Tiah is one that is so intrinsically motivated and I’m happy for her to be picked up again by Freo.”