Local product Lisa Steane will make her NAB AFL Women’s debut on Saturday when the GIANTS take on the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos in Launceston.
Steane’s journey to the AFLW hasn’t been an easy one with the 25-year-old overlooked in three drafts before she was selected with the GIANTS second pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Women’s Draft.
After playing with Black Diamond League side Nelson Bay, Steane moved to Sydney and joined Macquarie University where she has continued her development over the past two seasons.
Primarily a midfielder, Steane played for the GIANTS’ VFL Women’s side in 2019 and claimed best on ground honours in Macquarie University’s 2019 AFL Sydney Grand Final win.
“Lisa was probably a bit stiff to miss out in round one to be perfectly honest,” GIANTS AFLW coach Alan McConnell said.
“She had some really good form over the pre-season practice matches on the back of a really impressive VFL program for us.
“Lisa is one of those girls out of Sydney who made it onto our list and really benefited from the VFLW program last year.”
Boasting speed and a toughness around the ball, Steane has the ability to play a variety of roles for the GIANTS.
“She’s an interesting player, she can play inside midfielder or outside,” McConnell said.
“Lisa’s probably more adept on the outside but she’s also played ahead of the ball, on the wing and behind the ball for us so she gives us a lot of flexibility in how we can set up on the weekend.”
Steane comes in as the only change to the GIANTS’ 21 that beat Gold Coast in round one.
Saturday’s meeting with the Kangaroos will be the second between the two sides, with the previous meeting at Drummoyne Oval in round two last season particularly memorable.
In a game stopped by lightning and power issues, the ‘Roos eked out a tough win with coach McConnell looking for a reversal of fortunes when the sides meet again.
“We’re facing very strong opposition who were probably disappointed not to win last week,” he said.
“We’re certainly facing a very fired up opposition and they’ve been touted as the competition favourite, so I’ve got no doubt that they’ll come to play and we’ll need to be at our best to match that.”
The GIANTS are likely to be welcomed with better weather on Saturday despite some light showers predicted to roll across the University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston; a ground the GIANTS’ AFLW side has never played on before.
“Conditions are a little bit relevant, it’s a big ground and a wide ground but it’s also prone to wind,” McConnell said.
“There can be a distinct advantage going to one end of the ground, so we’ll just have to wait and see what it looks like.
“Our ball movement this week you’d expect to be different to the last based on the lack of rain.
“North Melbourne are historically a team that like to kick it around a bit and they led the uncontested marks in the competition last year. They’re a skilful team and defensively we’ll need to be at our best to nullify that aspect.”
AFLW Round Two – North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos v GIANTS
Saturday, February 15 at 3:10pm
University of Tasmania Stadium, Launceston
FB: Pepa Randall, Tanya Hetherington
HB: Rebecca Beeson, Louise Stephenson, Annalyse Lister
C: Elle Bennetts, Alicia Eva, Nicola Barr
HF: Haneen Zreika, Cora Staunton, Jodie Hicks
FF: Ingrid Nielsen, Rebecca Privitelli
RR: Erin McKinnon, Jess Dal Pos, Alyce Parker
Interchange: Yvonne Bonner, Lisa Steane, Jess Allan, Aimee Schmidt, Britt Tully
Emergencies: Tait Mackrill, Sarah Halvorsen
In: Lisa Steane
Out: Ellie Brush (unavailable)