“No limitations” for improving Power

PORT Adelaide is ready to shock the AFL Women’s competition off the back of an impressive preseason that included two victories over GWS GIANTS and St Kilda, and a trio of talented talls joining the mix. After a somewhat “rushed” introduction to their inaugural season, the Power have enjoyed taking the extra time over the off-season to settle down and prepare for a much improved Season 8.

“The first season felt quite rushed to be honest,” Port Adelaide vice-captain Angela Foley said. “We had very short preseason, had to get to know each other very quickly and it felt a little bit thrown together. Although we were happy with it.

“Then this season we’ve had plenty of time in the off-season to start to get know each other really well, start to build our culture together. We can feel that, and we can see it out on the field in our praccy matches, so it’s definitely coming along.”

Foley said the players were feeling optimistic about Season 8 and had enjoyed the hard off-season that had prepared them for what was to come.

“(The off-season was) pretty intense, the girls have been working really hard, we’re feeling really fit,” she said. “We’re happy with how both of our preseason games went over the last couple of weeks. We get a bit of a rest now ready for Round 1.”

Port Adelaide added bookends Janelle Cuthbertson and Ashleigh Saint (nee Woodland) from Fremantle and Adelaide respectively, as well as Glenelg teenager Matilda Scholz who stood out in the ruck for the Power over the last two preseason matches. Foley said adding three marking targets would further strengthen the lineup.

“The three they’re big, they play ones in defence, ones in the middle and ones forward, so they’ve got some nice mitts,” she said. “It’s nice to look up and have a few targets probably something that we missed in terms of height, overhead mark last year. They’re really exciting and looking forward to seeing how they go.”

Scholz – who only turned 18 in April – was allowed to be drafted by the Power a season early having completed her schooling as a bottom-ager. The AFLW Academy member would have been in Top 5 contention this year, and instead joins a Power side bustling with young talent.

“Not just Matilda, we’ve got a team nearly full of 18, 19, 20 year-olds that we’re putting a lot of energy into getting them ready pretty quickly,” Foley said. “Pretty proud of how Matilda’s going. She played two really solid preseason games for us. She’s trained really hard in the preseason and if she’s selected Round 1 she’ll be fit and firing ready to go.”

A school teacher by trade, Foley said she saw the talent that was on offer in South Australia even if not having that direct connection. The state claimed both the Under 18s and Under 16s titles at the national carnivals. Two of the brightest young stars in Lauren Young and Shineah Goody are expected to be scooped up by Port Adelaide when eligible in the next draft, and have already impressed teammates at training.

“We’ve seen them a couple of times,” Foley said. “It’s honestly like having them on our list to be honest, they’re very talented players and good people and we just like having those types of people around us.”

As for looking ahead to Season 8, and Round 1 fast approaching with a Showdown against the Crows up first, Foley did not shy away from her expectations on the group.

“We’re definitely going to be better than we were last season, that’s a fact,” Foley said. “We’ll set no limitations and go into every game absolutely ready to win and we’ll start with the Crows in Round 1.”

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