West Coast senior coach Luke Dwyer is confident his fresh-faced side has what it takes to challenge Collingwood during the club’s maiden AFLW outing on Sunday.
Speaking to the media ahead of the history-making fixture, Dwyer said he was excited to see what his young side could produce at Victoria Park.
The Eagles will field 10 debutants against the Pies, but Dwyer said his side was well prepared and ready for battle.
“If we looked a bit closer at those players a lot of them do have experience, obviously in the WAFLW but also from Victorian VFLW,” Dwyer said.
“Being an expansion team, we were always going to have girls who are on our list and are going to be playing for the first time.
“We feel really comfortable with the selection of those girls and they’ve really put in the work and put themselves in a really good position to be playing in round one.”
Dwyer felt the team’s senior leaders would guide the team’s rookies through their first AFLW outing.
He also believed they would help him temper emotions before the first bounce.
“It’s a really important thing for our leaders to show the way, but not only Emma (Swanson) and Dana (Hooker),” he said.
“We’ve got Maddy Collier and Courtney (Guard) as well who’ll be playing on Sunday.
“There are leaders within the team across each of the lines that will play a really important role in ensuring that the girls who are debuting are really focused and making sure that their concentration and levels of excitement are kept at a reasonable level.”
An upbeat Dwyer said he was optimistic leading into the club’s first senior hit-out
He felt the Eagles would match up well against the experienced Magpies.
“We feel like we’ve got a really balanced team,” he said.
“Ultimate respect for the Collingwood Magpies, they’ve been in the competition for three years, their preseason form has been really solid, but we feel like the balance of our team will match up really well.
“A pass mark for us at the end of this weekend will be that we’ve given a really competitive, consistent effort over four quarters and we know that if we do that well give ourselves a chance to be in a position to hopefully win the game.
“That starts at the opening bounce and we look no further than quarter time and we make sure our players are really clear on their roles and their focus is within the game.”