West Coast vice-captain Dana Hooker says the Eagles cannot wait to take flight and play their first away game this weekend.
A squad of 22 players will travel to Melbourne tomorrow to participate in the club’s first official practice match against fellow AFLW newcomer Richmond.
The Eagles will clash with the Tigers at Punt Road Oval on Sunday from 1pm AEST as they look to build momentum ahead of their round one clash with Collingwood on February 9.
Hooker said it was important for the group to bank as much game time together before they embarked on their first AFLW campaign.
“It’s our first opportunity playing together as a team (on the road),” Hooker said.
“We had a great hit-out last weekend against Freo.
“It was our first game on the weekend and there were a few things that don’t always go right, but I feel like we learnt from the experience really well and there were a lot of things that did go right.
“We were quite predictable to each other while we were out on the field, which is something that generally takes a lot of time to build when playing with each other.
“We’re just looking forward to the opportunity to play Richmond.
“We don’t obviously play them in-season due to the conference system, but it will be the last time to finalise our structures and things like that heading into round one.
“Those experiences and opportunities to play matches leading into the season are so important.”
Hooker was a standout during West Coast’s scratch match clash against Fremantle last Saturday.
The two-time AFLW Best and Fairest runner-up won plenty of the football and launched it inside 50 on numerous occasions despite being tagged by several Dockers throughout the contest.
The former Docker said she was relieved to tick off her first encounter with Fremantle during the pre-season.
“There were a few nerves going into the game, for sure, but within a couple of minutes you get going and it all sort of dissipates,” Hooker said.
“One of the girls when I lined up against, she threw in ‘We miss you’. That was kind of nice.
“I was glad to get those nerves out of the way ahead of round two. I think for any player that changes clubs you get those nerves, but I thought it was a great hit-out, a good opportunity to play our first match together as a team here at West Coast and we got some really good takeaways from it.”
Hooker said her goal for season 2020 was simple: to work hard and be the best teammate she could be.
“I go into every season with the same plan for myself, to be a really consistent and reliable teammate,” she offered.
“I pride myself on my work rate, so if my work rate’s up and I’m really predictable to my teammates – they always know the level that they’re going to get from me and the standard of my football – then I feel like I’m having a good season and I’m contributing in the way I should to the team.”
And as for the team’s aspirations, Hooker said the Eagles would strive to be a consistent, competitive outfit throughout their maiden AFLW campaign.
“The expectation we do have on each other as a group is that we want to be really consistent with what we put out on the park, keep building and getting better as the season goes on,” she said.
“What that looks like overall across the competition and how many wins and losses you have you can’t really predict that; we’ll just see how we go.
“But I feel really confident that we’re going to be consistent, we’re going to get better as the season goes on and hopefully get some wins on the board too.”