The WAFLW season is currently underway, with a number of West Coast Eagles AFLW players suiting up for various clubs throughout the league.

Eagles AFLW coach Daisy Pearce shares the benefits of participating the WAFLW in the off-season, and how the players have been tracking so far.  

“The AFLW season is a relatively short window with just 11 home and away games,” Pearce said.

“In addition to our official 12-week preseason that starts on June 3rd, this first half of the year is a crucial opportunity for our players to continue their development as athletes and footballers.

“We assessed our list on an individual basis and identified that, for a number of players, match play was a real priority.

“For some of our new draftees, it was about exposing them to playing against mature bodies, for others it was about getting game experience under their belts, and for others it was about having the opportunity to work on a specific role that we’re thinking they might play in our AFLW season.

“We’re grateful that the WAFLW Clubs and competition has been so accommodating with our players join their programs and trust that as a biproduct of having them around to share their experiences from the elite level, it is also helping to grow and improve their programs.”

Jess Rentsch for East Perth. Photo: Nick Cambridge Photography

Jess Rentsch – East Perth

“Jess has played three games for East Perth and has been impressive. Her aggression and athleticism have been on show, with her ability to win the ball in close then break out into space where she can be creative. Unsurprisingly, she’s really endeared herself to her teammates with her positive, hard working attitude.”

Kayley Kavanagh – East Perth

“Kayley has played one game for East Perth. Her competitiveness and physicality as an inside midfielder was evident. Kayley’s bodywork at ground level and in aerial contests is a strength we’ll continue to develop.”

Verity Simmons – Subiaco

“Verity brings a lot of strengths that translate well from her elite netball background, including her agility and speed, which really stood out in her matches against West Perth and Peel. She can win the ball in tight and find space really well and is really creative by hand. Obviously, the skills, positioning and situational decision making are things that ‘Vez’ is going to work on, having not played footy before, but with her work ethic, curiosity and elite behaviours she brings from years of elite sport, she’s improving really quickly. In the two games she has played at Subiaco, we’ve seen she’s a really quick learner and every game she plays is gold for the learning opportunities it creates.”

Beth Schilling – Subiaco

“Schillo’ has been really disciplined with her rehab following her PCL injury late last season and has been really consistent with her application to training. In addition to the training we have done as a team, she’s been doing extra work on her kicking to help compliment her strengths in the air. It’s been great to watch Schillo’s confidence and competitiveness build in these first few months of training, and we saw those things come out in the one game she has played for Subiaco.”

Mackenzie Webb for Claremont. Photo: Michael O'Brien

Mackenzie Webb – Claremont

“Mack’ has been working really hard in her role as a defender. She’s a smart footballer and through the hard work she’s been putting in, she’s developing really nicely. She’s been impressive in her three games at Claremont, with her defensive positioning and strong one on ones, but also looking for opportunities to back herself and be more aggressive by going for her marks and looking to get involved in attack. We can see Mack’s confidence growing and we’re looking forward to taking it to another level through our preseason.”

Emily Elkington – Claremont

“Elks’ has worked really hard across the off season and has given herself a great platform to attack pre-season. Because of her consistency, her ability to cover the ground and play with intensity has improved. She has been really disciplined in learning and applying the specifics of her role. Her tackle pressure for Claremont has been outstanding.”