West Coast Eagle Dana Hooker will be sharing her insights as our inaugural AFLW team races towards season 2020.
And just like that we are on the track and racing into 2020!
Things kicked off on Monday night with an open training session. The feeling among the group and atmosphere during training was seriously elevated.
I liken it to that feeling you get in the first five minutes of a match, with the adrenaline pumping, some nervous energy and a whole lot of happiness.
The training session was, in my opinion, of a really high quality for the first official one.
The girls have done a mountain of work in the lead up to pre-season voluntarily to give us the best opportunity to get ahead of the curve and be prepared for the season ahead and I feel like that is translating into the training standards already.
Wednesday’s track session felt different, with a shift to a quieter yet equally focused approach to training. The heart (and legs) were challenged with a difficult conditioning session to round out the night, but the enthusiasm never faulted.
The question I frequently get asked at this stage from those interested in the team is “How’s the team shaping up?”
The thing I always end up talking about first isn’t in fact the football. It’s the connection within the playing group that has formed naturally.
There is a lot of genuine care for our teammates which makes for a really honest, positive and inclusive environment.
That is huge to have achieved in such a short period of time, particularly with such a diverse group of girls. The culture of the club and this team that is developing is something pretty special.
You just can’t manufacture that. It’s player driven and has such a positive impact on team performance.
From here it does all happen really quickly.
We have a solid month of training prior to Christmas with our last session on the 21st.
The team then goes on a short break for a week with assigned training programs to complete.
I always look at it as a mental, not physical break.
We enjoy the time with our friends and families and that mental break from football education, but you have to maintain peak physical condition because we are straight into our pre-season scratch matches in just over two weeks after returning.
The excitement is building within the team and all around us here at the club.
I’m looking forward to the ongoing hard work of pre-season as we prepare for our history-making round one clash with Collingwood on February 9.