It’s an exciting time for West Coast Eagles as the women’s team prepare for their inaugural season.
The club’s key advantage lies in the time they’ve had to prepare for the 2020 season, as they’ve been able to develop their program with the insight into what has and hasn’t worked for other teams.
They’ve also done well to procure a mixture of players who have either proved themselves to be dependable in previous seasons of the AFLW or who have demonstrated their talents in state or junior leagues and other sports.
These fresh faces are keen to prove themselves and the whole team is eager to make history as the first WCE women’s team.
These factors, added to the positive club culture and experience brought by the senior players, could turn out to be a threatening combination on the field.
WCE’s advantage in being a new team raring to go can be flipped on its head as a challenge the club will need to overcome, hopefully early on in the season.
As the other three expansion clubs joining the 2020 season have played together in the past, the WCE are the only true wild card in the lineup.
Although many individuals in the team have played together at other clubs or in other leagues, there will undoubtedly be a few bumps in the road to forming a cohesive team in this elite environment.
We will have to wait and see whether proactive preparation and the emphasis on building a positive club culture will be enough to allow the WCE to thrive in the competition this season.
Swanson is an experienced football player with an impressive record of achievements as a professional athlete. Prior to her start in the AFLW, she was named Best and Fairest at Peel Thunderbirds four times. She was then signed as a marquee player and vice-captain for the GWS Giants in 2017.
Swanson was sidelined for most of the 2019 season as she was injured in February and spent the rest of the year recovering from a shoulder reconstruction. Despite concerns that she may not have been ready for the 2020 preseason,
Emma says the time away from the game has allowed for a full recovery and is more than excited to start playing again, this time in the yellow and blue guernsey.
“From day one [of the preseason] I was pretty much ready to go so it worked out really well,” she says.
“I’m like a little kid when I play footy. . . I still can’t sleep the night before games and stuff like that and thinking about it just makes me really happy. I can’t wait.”