by Heidi Thompson
As we prepare for Round 6, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the season so far.
I have been very impressed with the resiliency this group has shown with a couple of bumps in the road for our 2019 campaign so far. Our first loss came off the back of a couple of injuries and unavailabilities, but with challenges came the opportunities for our developing players.
We made 10 changes against Carlton last week, providing four players with a chance to debut, including three players who are currently in or have recently been through our Academy program. I was incredibly proud to see these players perform at VFLW level, by playing their role in the team and contributing well on the day. It was also very pleasing to see our experienced AFLW players mentoring our fresh faces before, during and after the game. Our best young talent needs to continue to develop in the Academy program and through the VFLW to give them the best chance of getting onto an AFLW list. It’s why our programs exist.
Our focus on challenging ourselves and each other has been a constant throughout the season, and this has been demonstrated by the team’s willingness to overcome obstacles along the way. All players are continuing to drive high standards at training, which is showing in our results so far. There is a real sense of belief in this group that we can get the job done regardless of all the factors at play; including the quality of the opposition, travel and weather conditions.
Another pleasing aspect is how well our local NT talent is performing on the big stage. Katie Streader and Kristy Irvine evidenced this by being selected in the VFLW Team of the Week for Round 5. After our first four games we have also seen strong performances from local heroes; Lisa Roberts, Tayla Thorn and Mickey Roberts, which highlights how important it is to strike a balance between youth and experience in the group.
We are really looking forward to two home games in a row playing at our beloved TIO Stadium in front of our family and friends. This week we are eager to test ourselves against a star-studded Richmond outfit, who are sitting second on the VFLW ladder. In saying this, we will have an added advantage with playing at home on our terms as we search for our fourth win of the season.
I hope to see you all out in force to support us.