It’s an exciting time for West Coast Eagles as the women’s team prepare for their inaugural season.
The West Coast Eagles have put together their list for the 2020 season and they’re itching to get their boots on the ground. Comprising a mix of experienced players, cross-code athletes and rookie drafts, the team that has been put together is sure to excite AFLW fans up and down the West coast.
Although it is one of four expansion teams this season, WCE is the only team that will be playing together for the first time, and fans are chomping at the bit to see how the talented players will be brought together by the coaching team led by Luke Dwyer.
According to the inaugural captain, Emma Swanson, the focus is on developing a positive club culture that will endure for years to come, and which will help develop strong relationships between players that will translate to the game.
“We are a young team and we want to be here for a long time which means we need to focus on more than our immediate goals,” Swanson says.
“It is important that we look beyond the next six months and lay a solid foundation for the future.”
West Coast do seem to be succeeding on that score and have made the most of not being involved in the earlier seasons of the AFLW.
Swanson attests that the club has been very proactive in their preparation for the introduction of the new women’s team and that they do not seem to be struggling with the ‘teething issues’ faced by foundation clubs in the past.
“It’s a kind of blessing in disguise that the club has had three years to get ready,” she says.
“I’ve not for one second felt like they’ve been unprepared or not thought things through.”
As the season draws nearer, WCE supporters wait to see whether the preparation and positive club culture has helped to develop the competitive side that they are hoping for.
What we learnt from last season
While we may not be able to reflect on this team’s performance last season, the talent brought to the squad by the individual players is undeniable.
Emma Swanson herself boasts experience at the elite level, both as a player and in a leadership role, having been selected as vice-captain for the Giants in the first season of the AFLW.
Similarly exciting is the addition of Dana Hooker, star player from Fremantle and now inaugural vice-captain at West Coast.
The new team comprises a number of other players drafted from the Dockers’ list including WAWFL leading goal kicker Ashlee Atkins and multi-sport athlete Kellie Gibson.
Many of the players have grown up in WA supporting the WCE and are determined to do justice to the club they grew up cheering for.