West Coast’s AFLW players returned from a brief Christmas break in excellent condition and they are quickly ramping up preparations for the Eagles’ second season, coach Daniel Pratt says.
With less than a month until round one against Gold Coast, the squad has no time to waste ahead of their trip to Metricon Stadium.
Speaking to Sport FM following an up tempo and slick session on Wednesday night, Pratt said he liked what he was seeing ahead of the Suns clash on January 30.
“It wasn’t a very long break and they all came back in good condition as we expected, so we’ve been able to get back on the track and back getting ready to play games pretty shortly,” he said.
Ten weeks into the job, after switching from West Coast’s men’s program, Pratt has been busy implementing his philosophies and building relationships with his players and staff.
“It’s been a big change. Taking direction with Simmo (AFL coach Adam Simpson) over the last seven years and then going out on your own, taking your own philosophies and thoughts and gamestyle, has been good,” Pratt said.
“The girls are very different to the guys and the gamestyle has to be based all around that, not around what I’ve seen previously with the men.
“Worked really hard on that over the last 10 weeks and it’s been really enjoyable. I’ve really enjoyed building the relationships with the players.”
Pratt has been particularly impressed by the latest intake of recruits, including No.3 draft pick Bella Lewis, a quick and skilful midfielder from Claremont.
“She’s just a natural footballer is probably the best way to describe it,” Pratt said.
“She reminds me, obviously being involved with the men’s footy for a long period of time, when you see a raw 18-year-old male come in and they’ve got all the tools, it’s just how to connect that to AFLW.
“She’s been really good in all the training, played things like AFLX – seven v seven and nine v nine – and she’s probably been the standout trainer from that point-of-view.
“She’s got good game knowledge and really good skill, and she’s hard at the ball. She’ll be a really good player for a long time for West Coast.”