The end of the AFLW season comes far too quickly for players and spectators alike, but for some, like Fremantle’s retiring Amy Lavell, that’s it. It’s all over!
Finishing the season with 3 wins and 4 losses just isn’t close enough and the overarching feeling is a sense of disappointment.
“It was quite disappointing in the way that it finished,” Lavell said.
“Obviously finishing with a win was fantastic but knowing where we could have potentially finished if we were on the other end of a couple of close games, then we may have been preparing for this weekend. But we’re not.
“We definitely improved from last season. We just need to keep improving.”
As with most teams, a spate of injuries didn’t help the Dockers’ cause.
“We had the same issue last year but we seemed to be better off for it this year,” Lavell said.
“Losing Kellie Gibson and not having Kiara Bowers out there at all this season was unfortunate but I think the girls that played definitely stepped up and played their role.”
The great news is that even with such a short season, there’s still time to witness the development of key players and youngsters.
“Lisa Webb in her first year as a Freo Docker. She has definitely done a fantastic job. I’m sure she will continue to improve next year,” Lavell stated.
“Jade de Melo, as a rookie being elevated up to the senior list. I think she will be a real talent up forward.”
With such a short season and the plan and demand for extra clubs, TWG asked Lavell if it’s something which can be sustained.
“As soon as you have what would be deemed a small injury in the men's competition, like a quad injury that would last 4 or 5 weeks, that would be almost three-quarters of the women’s season.”
“It definitely makes a difference in the fact that obviously our roster, when we do get an injury like that, but I think it depends on the pathways that have been made available [for more players to develop].
“Depending on that we will see whether we have enough players for these two teams.
“Only time will tell.” Lavell said.
Whilst Lavell is retiring, what happens at the end of the season for the rest of the players?
“The girls will definitely try and stick together as much as they can.
“Obviously the AFL hasn’t come forward with what they have decided to do with contracts.
“I think as long as the girls can train a couple of times a week and still keep that camaraderie up and train in that elite facility. I think the Fremantle Football Club will try and do that as much as they can.
“Obviously the girls will go back to their club footy and play some games. Other people will have some surgery that needs to clean up injuries.
“Definitely going our separate ways but at the same time, the Fremantle Football Club is fantastic in trying to keep the girls together.”
And for the retiring Lavell, what does the future hold?
“I definitely don’t want to leave AFL Women’s altogether. It is just the body doesn’t want to hold up anymore.”
“I definitely want to be involved in coaching or anything that helps grow the game. I love footy. I will continue to love it and continue to be involved in it any way I can.