Senior coach Trent Cooper said Fremantle are embracing being a team to beat heading into the 2021 NAB AFL Women’s season.
Freo were unbeaten for the year when the 2020 season was called off, which has automatically increased expectations on the club despite all teams going back to a 0-0 record.
Speaking at Monday’s AFLW season launch, Cooper said his players are aware that their opponents would be hungry to break Freo’s winning streak.
“I think Gabby O’Sullivan summed it up really well in a newspaper article recently, when she said that we know that the opposition are going to bring their absolute best against us, so we’ll be ready for that,” Cooper said.
Cooper is also taking a leaf out of the book of Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, who has coached in the NBA since 1999.
“Doc Rivers said ‘pressure is a privilege’ and that’s how we feel now,” Cooper said.
“We want to be in that position where everyone wants to come after us. If there was no pressure on us, it would be because we’re no good.
“We want to be that team that gets targeted but we’re not far above the pack, there’s four or five sides that are very close to us.
“But we know in some ways we’ve got a target on our back and we’ll enjoy that challenge.”
Coopers expects the challenge to start straight away against GWS in round one at Fremantle Oval on Sunday 31 January.
“GWS are a really strong resilient team,” Cooper said.
“They lost two games in the regular season last year. They were well structured and organised.
“We know that they’re really hard to break down so we’re looking forward to that challenge.”
Tickets for Sunday’s clash are $10 and go on sale on Wednesday via Ticketmaster.
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