Reflective Starcevich still proud of his troops

ALTHOUGH Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich was clearly disappointed in the result of yesterday’s AFLW Grand Final, he was still proud of what his team had been able to achieve in the last 24 months or so.

“Our last three campaigns we’ve gone nine and two, nine three and 11 two this year, that’s a pretty good result for a collective three seasons in this competition.

“And the other bit is in seven seasons we’ve played in four grand finals and lost three of them by a goal or less and won one by three goals, so the win/loss ledger is not great but the competitive showing up and having a crack is pretty impressive. So very proud of them from that point of view.”

He also has a theory as to what Melbourne did better yesterday to restrict Brisbane’s usual game style.

“Probably keep it in tight,” he said.  

“Normally we like to get it out of congestion and if it pops out we’ve got some speed on the outside and we can normally utilize that and get some go forward, but everything was a little bit slow and sluggish today.

“I don’t know, first warm day we’ve played in in a while might’ve sapped us a little bit as well, but you would have thought that would have helped us more than the oppo, but they were the ones that looked stronger the longer the game went, so no we were playing a very good opposition that were very disciplined about their style of defence, and all power to them.”

Although he thinks it may have played a part, Starcevich doesn’t believe the magnitude of all that happened in the week leading up to the match was a huge factor in the result.

“To host in your own town and all the excitement around playing here, possibly that’s played some role. But I always think footy’s won and lost on the day to be honest so I think the opposition came out and were really, really good, really though.”

Starcevich was full of praise for defender Shannon Campbell, who won the Best on Ground Medal in yesterday’s decider. He also noted how important she was after skipper Bre Koenen went down injured.

“Oh she was amazing. Obviously we saw her the same way whoever voted for her did as well.

“Her courage to read and intercept was fantastic, she was clean. It was maybe the third quarter where she was picking them off round the arc and sending them back in, we looked dangerous while she was in that frame of mind. So good result, it’ll be cold comfort to her that she’s won that in a losing team, but she can hold her head up like most of our players. They’ve all had some pretty good years, so just tough that the season finishes on a day like this.”

“Obviously very important because Bre had the match up with their medium sizers, so Hore and Pearce a little bit as well, so that became very, very important to us, and to Bre’s credit for her to get back out there and keep soldiering on was amazing as well.”

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