Former AFLW star Abbey Holmes picks the three teams to beat heading into a massive season seven
Channel 7 commentator Abbey Holmes says AFLW season seven might be “history making”.
For the first time since the league’s inception, all 18 teams will compete as growth is full inside simply seven seasons and 6 years.
Watch Erin Phillips preview season seven in the video above
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Essendon, Sydney, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide have been the closing three teams to be added to start the 18-team period of the AFLW.
Port Adelaide – who’ve lured the recreation’s greatest title in Erin Phillips throughout from Adelaide – and Sydney, specifically, are broadly tipped to be robust of their first seasons in the competitors.
However Channel 7 commentator Holmes believes there are nonetheless three standout teams.
“I think Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are the three that will be up there again,” she informed 7NEWS.com.au.
“Melbourne have done very well to retain the majority of their list. Yes, they’ve seen a couple depart, but they’ve retained a majority of that chunk in the starting 21.
“And then what they’ve done incredibly well … is recruit talent into that core group already. Charlotte Wilson’s there, Sabrina Duffy has come over from WA and she’s one of the most exciting small forwards that we’ve seen play. She obviously didn’t play in season six. I think the Dees are prepped and primed and this would have to be their year to take it out.”
Regardless of shedding Phillips, who was all the time going to defect to Port Adelaide to comply with in her father’s footsteps, Holmes says the Crows will nonetheless be considered one of the most formidable outfits in the competitors.
“Obviously, Erin Phillips is a massive out; Justine Mills and Ange Foley are two more premiership players that went with Phillips to Port,” Holmes stated.
“But other than that, a fair chunk of that incredibly talented and strong Adelaide side stays together, which is great.”
Brisbane, the 2020 premiers and perennial finalists, could have a huge say on season seven as nicely, Holmes informed 7NEWS.com.au.
“With the state-based draft, it’s interesting because you’re not competing with interstate clubs for your talent,” she stated.
“Brisbane are very strong as well obviously with that Queensland talent pool and I expect them to be up there as well.”
Having already performed an AFLW – and for many gamers, a state-league season as nicely – the gamers face the distinctive problem of getting to again up for a second season at the elite degree in the similar calendar 12 months.
That additionally means they’ve had to do a truncated preseason throughout the winter months.
“I do not envy these athletes having to do preseason through winter. I couldn’t think of anything worse!” Holmes stated.
“It’s an absolute credit to the girls for the way that they kind of manage their preseason programs through a Melbourne winter or New South Wales winter or whatever it might have been.
“There’s no doubt about it that it’s a big challenge. And as we know, with within the AFL, there’s so much science and technology that goes behind these athletes with, you know, strength and conditioning programs and just getting their bodies prepped and primed and ready to go for week one of competition effectively.
“They’ve had to do that twice; they haven’t had much of an off season at all.
“I’ve been blown away with that dedication, commitment and willingness to just get straight back in from all of the athletes and the coaches and the clubs involved.”
In the video beneath: Dawn speaks to Nicole Livingstone forward of season seven
Whereas the competitors continues to set up itself with part-time athletes, the AFL will hope housing the competitors in the August-November timeslot will give it higher publicity in contrast with the January-April interval it had used beforehand.
The subsequent step will inevitably be turning the competitors into a actually elite league with full-time skilled athletes.
When it occurs – which all of the sudden doesn’t appear too distant – it can signify a monumental second for girls’s sport in the nation, and the males’s and girls’s competitions will run concurrently.
It wasn’t all that way back, although, that Holmes was restraining from holding her breath to even set up a league.
“If you think back to 2015-16, there were whispers of the women’s competition starting up in 2020,” she stated.
“To have it up and going in 2017, and to have it where it is now, is a credit to Gil McLachlan, Nicole Livingstone, Richard Goyder and everybody at the AFL for bringing it forward and backing us in. We can’t thank them enough for for bringing it forward.
“To think that it’s taken seven seasons and we’re here today with all 18 clubs in – it’s pretty special to think about it.
“I was kind of saying ‘oh, maybe in 10 years, we would have an 18-club competition’.”
All eyes might be on Collingwood and Carlton at Ikon Park on Thursday evening to kick the season off, with a packed crowd anticipated for the conventional rivalry.
However consideration will rapidly flip to Saturday for Phillips’ debut for brand spanking new membership Port Adelaide when the Energy tackle West Coast.
Holmes is astounded that the recreation’s most adorned participant nonetheless has the capability to do what she’s doing at 37 years of age.
“I’m a South Australian girl originally, and I remember watching Erin Phillips play in a Slowdown for Port Adelaide,” Holmes stated.
“I remember seeing Erin play many years ago when she was still playing basketball and just thinking ‘this girl is an absolute gun.’
“So, to think she’s gone off and done what she’s done on the basketball scene and come to footy is amazing.
“And she was a rookie in year one with the Crows, which is hard to believe as well. She’s 37 and still just about the best player in the competition.
“I’d say we could just keep seeing her play on each and every year until she within herself feels like she can’t do it anymore. Because in terms of what she’s producing on the field, week in week out is absolutely incredible.”