WAFLW 2019 Preview: Swan Districts welcome back AFLW players

Coach Kara Donnellan, Manager Jo Taylor with League Captain Ebony Antonio and Reserves Captain Danielle Jean. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d492714
Coach Kara Donnellan, Manager Jo Taylor with League Captain Ebony Antonio and Reserves Captain Danielle Jean. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d492714

SWAN Districts women’s league coach Kara Donnellan wants her players to simply enjoy playing football ahead of the upcoming inaugural WAFLW season.

The former Swans and current Fremantle AFLW captain will coach her first official game against Subiaco at Bassendean Oval on May 5.

Donnellan previously served as acting coach in the second half of last season after long-time premiership coach Nicole Graves moved to Carlton, who recently resigned from her general football manager position.

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Following a semi-final loss last year, the club has recruited new players and welcomed back its AFLW players.

Donnellan said the group had completed a solid pre-season on the track.

“It will be exciting to see the up-and-coming talent we have at Swans, as well as the inclusion of our AFLW girls coming back to Swans after a successful season at the Dockers,” she said.

“The main things we have worked on were basic skills, decision making, conditioning and game plan.

“We have a solid group of players who have been at Swans for many years, which has made the pre-|season work on game plan and strategies an easy transition, and has allowed our new players to the club opportunity to learn and develop over the pre-season.”

Kara Donnellan. Picture: Matt Jelonek.

Donnellan said there were a handful of new recruits and she was excited to coach AFLW Fremantle rookie Ange Stannett and tough mid-forward Imarah Cameron.

While there were no major injury concerns, Donnellan said a few AFLW players were carrying some niggling injuries and would be managed in the first half of the season.

“We will look to get all our AFLW players back by mid-season,” she said.

Her goal for her first season as coach was for everyone to enjoy playing and coaching.

“I want my assistant coaches to enjoy coaching, I want the girls to enjoy playing and I want to make sure we are all continually learning and getting better,” she said.

“Success will come when we get those things right.”

League captain Ebony Antonio. Picture: Matt Jelonek.

Swan Districts will have free entry for kids to the Subiaco game, which will feature a Swans Play Zone from 12.30pm, free footballs, a radical run, bouncing castles, mechanical surfboard and prizes up for grabs in handball and longest kick competitions.

All junior football club players in club uniform will also receive a free sausage sizzle and drink or slushie.

The match day will include Rogers Cup and Reserves games and a juniors game between Hills Rangers and Caversham.