The AFLW season 8 starts Thursday 1st September, and the competition is rearing for a big shake up. Season 7 saw a huge increase in the competition with all 18 AFL clubs fielding a women’s team, the level of competition rose to new heights. After an explosive trade period, the 18 teams are raring to go for round 1, many of which have a large number of changes from their season 7 line-ups.
The AFLW is filled with international talent. The trade period saw the spread of New Zealand talent increase, with 20 players now spread across 13 of the 18 teams, our heritage players are ready to light up the league.
Lauren Pearce is excited at the opportunity to win back to back Premierships with Melbourne, and the season opener is the perfect opportunity for them to make that statement to the rest of the league.
The spotlight shines brightly on the plethora of Kiwi talent dispersed throughout the AFLW landscape, leading to a series of New Zealand heritage clashes throughout the opening weekend. Lucy Single of the Gold Coast Suns will go head to head with Breann Moody and Vaomua Laloifi from Carlton, in what is quickly becoming a fierce rivalry between the two teams.
In another riveting showdown, Kristy Stratton and her Hawthorn side will square off against Essendon, a team that has welcomed former Carlton player Brooke Walker into their ranks. Both teams entered the competition in the previous season and have bolstered their squads with remarkable talent. This clash promises to deliver an enthralling season opener for both clubs, setting the tone for the season ahead.
Sunday’s schedule presents a titanic clash between two stalwarts of the game. Season 7’s leading goal kicker, Jesse Wardlaw, embarked on a game-changing move to St Kilda, and is relishing on the new opportunities the move has provided. Wardlaw is poised to go head-to-head against Jasmine Garner and Tahlia Randall, two of North Melbourne’s most exceptional players. Garner is widely regarded as one of the league’s finest athletes, while Randall’s exceptional aerial prowess sets her apart in the competition.
Dee Heslop of the Brisbane Lions faces off against Poppy Kelly and the Richmond Tigers, who handed Brisbane their sole defeat during the Season 7 home-and-away fixtures. Despite losing key players, including goal-scoring sensation Jesse Wardlaw, Brisbane remains a force to be reckoned with, having consistently proven their mettle since their inaugural season.
As the sun rises on AFLW Season 8, anticipation and excitement are palpable. New Zealand’s contribution to the league and the clashes that await in the opening round promise to captivate fans and set the tone for an exhilarating season ahead.
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