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AFLW captains make their predictions on upcoming season
AFL

AFLW captains make their predictions on upcoming season

4 minutes, 46 seconds Read

Reigning premiers Melbourne are predicted to have another strong year in the 2023 AFLW Season.

Fourteen of the 17 captains have predicted that Melbourne will make the grand final (noting that their own captain Kate Hore was not eligible to vote for them).

Speaking to 7NEWS.com.au at the AFLW captains day on Monday, Hore said she is aware that “the expectation is for us to do really well.”

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“When you’re in the pre-season, you’re all in-house and there’s not too much outside noise, so I guess the pressure will come, no doubt, but we’ve earned that right,” she said.

“We won last year and the expectation is for us to do well again this season, and I think we’re really well-prepared.

“We’ve had a really good pre-season, we’ve worked on our game style, we’ve kept our group together, which, I think, is a massive win for us.

AFLW captains have had their say on the season. Credit: Getty Images

“While I guess there is a little bit of pressure put on us internally, we don’t really listen to the outside noise too much, and we’ll just keep going about our business.

“We actually spoke to a couple of our men’s leaders during the week and took some learnings from the back of their premiership year, and a lot of the things that they said was just to keep the fun and keep celebrating the little wins.

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“The last time that we played as a group was the grand final, so to go out this season and expect to be feeling those high emotions, you’re just not going to get that throughout the year.

“It’s going to be a grind. For us as a leadership group, we’re just going to be really pushing, celebrating the little wins and hopefully the big wins come.”

Hore is ready for the tough challenge of replacing retired AFLW icon Daisy Pearce as Melbourne skipper.

“Obviously big shoes to fill with Daisy, but I feel so well-supported, we’ve got Tyla Hanks stepping up into the vice-captaincy role this season and then Libby (Birch) and Rhi (Rhiannon Watt) joining our leadership group as well,” she said.

“It’s definitely not just going to be me, or left up to me – it’s those four girls and then the rest of our squad as well.

“I think everyone’s got such great strengths to bring, not only in the leadership capacity but on the field.

“It’s very exciting, obviously a massive honour to be captain of the Melbourne Football Club. It’s not something I ever thought I would be doing 10 or 15 years ago, but to be here now is, yeah, I’m just super pumped, very honoured and can’t wait to lead the girls out this season.”

The Melbourne Demons are expected to have another exceptional AFLW year. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

A huge plus for the side is that they have managed to retain all of their players beside retiring Pearce.

“I think it speaks massively to the culture that we’ve built at the program,” Hore said.

“It could be said that people stuck around to win a premiership, and then they might have left and explored other opportunities after that, but the fact that we’ve been able to keep a large chunk of our squad together, I think it does speak volumes of what Mick and Daisy have built at the Melbourne Footy Club for a long time.

“I’m just super proud of the girls that we’ve been able to build that connection and hopefully go again this year.”

Seven captains are tipping Richmond’s Monique Conti to win the league best and fairest award with Jasmine Garner (three) and Anna Hatchard (two) the only other players to receive multiple votes.

North Melbourne’s Kate Shierlaw received five nominations to be leading goalkicker, while the AFLW rising star was predicted to would be either Alana Gee of the Gold Coast, Jasmine Fleming of Hawthorn or Matilda Scholz of Port Adelaide, with each player receiving two votes.

Which team aside from your own is most likely to reach the NAB AFLW Grand Final?

14 – Melbourne

2 – Adelaide Crows

1 – Geelong Cats, North Melbourne

Who will win the competition Best and Fairest?

7 – Monique Conti (Richmond)

3 – Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne)

2 – Anne Hatchard (Adelaide Crows)

1 – Ash Riddell (North Melbourne), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Georgie Prespakis (Geelong Cats), Maddy Prespakis (Essendon), Alyce Parker (GWS GIANTS), Bri Davey (Collingwood)

Who will kick the most goals in the competition?

5 – Kate Shierlaw (North Melbourne)

2 – Jesse Wardlaw (St Kilda), Caitlin Greiser (Richmond), Chloe Scheer (Geelong Cats), Aine Tighe (Fremantle)

1 – Tayla Harris (Melbourne), Kate Hore (Melbourne), Ash Saint (Port Adelaide), Dakota Davidson (Brisbane Lions), Ella Roberts (West Coast Eagles)

Who will win the AFLW Rising Star?

2 – Alana Gee (Gold Coast SUNS), Jasmine Fleming (Hawthorn), Matilda Scholz (Port Adelaide)

1 – Sarah Goodwin (Adelaide Crows), Charlie Mullins (Brisbane Lions), Mia Austin (Carlton), Amber Clarke (Essendon), Charlotte Baskaran (Hawthorn), Zarlie Goldsworthy (GWS GIANTS), Bridie Hipwell (Hawthorn), Tess Craven (North Melbourne), Stella Reid (Richmond), Abby Bushby (West Coast Eagles), Sofia Hurley (Sydney), Charlotte Blair (Collingwood)

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