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GIANTS Have Hunger to Improve

GIANTS vice-captain Alicia Eva is eager to build on the gains the GIANTS made in the 2018 season. - AFLW,GWS Giants,Alicia Eva
GIANTS vice-captain Alicia Eva is eager to build on the gains the GIANTS made in the 2018 season.

THE GIANTS won't have any issues with complacency if they follow the lead of star midfielder Alicia Eva in next year's AFL Women's competition.

Eva, who won the best and fairest and was named in the Virgin Australia All Australian team in her first season as a GIANT, played a huge part in her club's rise up the ladder.

The inaugural wooden spooners finished fourth last season in a massive improvement under new coach Al McConnell, but Eva knows the team could have achieved much more.

After losing their first two games, the GIANTS won three of their last four and drew the other to go into the last game of the year knowing another win over Brisbane would seal a spot in the Grand Final.

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However, the Lions booted six goals to one in the opening term at Blacktown and eventually won by 40 points to advance to the decider against the Western Bulldogs.

Eva told the defeat at the hands of Brisbane – the team they face in next year's season opener – was a shattering finale to a positive season.

"Some people say, 'you should be extremely happy with the way you played last season, you were the surprise packets', but as a playing group we were really disappointed by the way the year ended," she said.

"We had a chance to play in a Grand Final.

"We went through and reviewed the game after the season and I certainly think we'll revisit it in some capacity before round one, but we certainly don't dwell on that game.

"We take plenty away from last season, but we go into this year with a real hunger to improve again.

"We know we've drafted some really talented girls and we know the list is stronger, but it won't just happen for us."

The GIANTS' number one draft selection and pick No.12 overall at last month's NAB AFLW draft, Alyce Parker, is one player certain to add quality to the club's depth.

The GIANTS took Alyce Parker with their first pick in October's NAB AFLW Draft.

Parker would have been a candidate to be taken with the first pick if the AFLW draft wasn't state-based, so talented is the powerful inside ball-winner from the Riverina region of NSW.

Alongside 2018 club champion Eva, last season's AFLW Players' MVP Courtney Gum and Jess Dal Pos, along with All Australian Erin McKinnon in the ruck, Parker gives the GIANTS one of the competition's most stacked midfield divisions.

As NSW and Eastern Allies' AFLW under-18 coach, Eva has worked closely with Parker for the past year.

"I think she'll have an immediate impact, and that's not to put pressure on the kid at all," Eva said.

"She doesn't second guess herself, she just sees the footy and goes and gets it because that comes naturally to her.

"There's certain areas of her game, like all of us, that she needs to keep improving, but she's already got quite an elite footy brain for someone of her age.

"She reads the game really well, she's very strong through the core and has more or less been training as an elite athlete for quite a few years.

"That means she's pretty advanced in that sense when you compare her to other fresh-faced 18-year-olds.

"I think she's in for a really solid first season."