West Coast will unveil two debutants for Sunday’s AFLW clash against Greater Western Sydney with Alicia Janz and newcomer Lauren Gauci earning their wings.
Since crossing from Fremantle at the end of 2019, injuries have prevented popular squad member Janz from running out in blue and gold.
But, after overcoming a pre-season calf strain, the powerful tall will make her long-awaited club debut at Blacktown International Sports Park, replacing key forward Andrea Gilmore (concussion protocol).
“It has been a long wait for 'Janzy' but for her to be in our leadership group when she hasn’t played a game is a true reflection of her character,” coach Daniel Pratt said.
“Just through the sheer amount of hard work she has put in she is actually back from injury earlier than we expected and we can’t wait to finally see her out there on Sunday.”
Gauci was recruited from the SANFLW in October and she will play alongside two North Adelaide teammates – Amber Ward and Katelyn Pope – against the Giants.
The 24-year-old defender battled a knee injury recently but is now raring to go as the Eagles hunt their first win of the 2021 NAB AFLW competition.
“We were really impressed with her pre-season and we would have played her earlier if she was available, so I’m really glad to get ‘Gauc’ into the team,” Pratt said.
“I think she is going to be a long-term prospect for the club.”
Gauci comes into the side for the omitted Shanae Davison, who is an emergency along with winger Kate Orme.
Bouncedown for Sunday’s game is at 5.10pm local time (2.10pm AWST).
All 2021 NAB AFL Women’s Competition matches will be broadcast live on the Seven Network, FOX FOOTY, Kayo, and via the AFL Live Official App, thanks to Telstra.
Matches will also be streamed live via womens.afl and the AFLW Live Official App.