Fremantle Dockers women finalise squad ahead of innaugural AFLW season

Fremantle Dockers women's coach Michelle Cowan talks with marquee signing Kara Donnellan.
Fremantle Dockers women's coach Michelle Cowan talks with marquee signing Kara Donnellan.

THE Fremantle Dockers have finalised its squad for the inaugural women’s league season in 2017.

The Dockers signed Emily Bonser, Taryn Priestly and Gemma Houghton as free agents following a frenetic draft period on October 12.

Coach Michelle Cowan said she was excited to hit the track for pre-season on November 22.

“Our free agents complement our list really well and I’m excited to be submitting these players to the AFL,” she said.

“We’ve got some really good balance, we’ve got some young players, some new players, we’ve got some seasoned players and some great leaders so there’s a really good balance.

“I’m rapt about where we’re at.”

Bonser, a premiership midfielder with Swan Districts, said she never gave up on her AFLW dream even after being overlooked in last month’s draft.

“It was pretty disappointing but I kept my eyes on the prize and gave Michelle (Cowan) a call maybe about a week after, asking about what positions were left,” she said.

“I think missing out has almost made me hungrier and determined to really work hard and show that I deserve a place.

“It has definitely put fuel in my fire to continue to prove myself, which is a really good sign.”

Despite not having played a competitive match, Houghton impressed during a talent search held at Emmanuel College in August where she posted the best result of the day in the beep test.

“She’s a great person as well so we know she’ll be a great fit,” Cowan said.

“We’ve certainly got some development to go through in terms of football knowledge and ability, but she’ll be in the right environment to flourish.

“Everyone’s a chance to start in round 1 at this stage.”

Fremantle’s AFLW academies and community manager Wade Spilcker said premiership player Priestly has good skills, “especially for someone coming from basketball who only has one year of footy experience”.