The GIANTS have received a boost ahead of their maiden AFL Women’s finals appearance on Saturday with captain Alicia Eva returning from a foot injury.
Eva is joined by ruck Jess Allan in returning to the GIANTS team that will face the Melbourne Demons in a must-win Semi-Final at GIANTS Stadium.
Eva, who injured her foot in the GIANTS’ round four loss to the Brisbane Lions, returns after two weeks on the sidelines, while Allan has recovered from a cold that saw her miss the GIANTS’ historic win over Adelaide last weekend.
“It’s very good to have Alicia back; she’s had a pretty trouble-free rehab and was always likely to play this weekend,” GIANTS AFLW Head Coach Alan McConnell said.
“Jess was unfortunate to miss last week, so it’s a good inclusion for us.”
Sarah Halvorsen and Emily Goodsir have both been omitted.
Halvorsen played the previous two games after making her debut in the GIANTS’ round five win over Richmond, while Goodsir performed strongly in her debut against Adelaide last week.
“Both of them have been in good form,” McConnell said.
“We think that the depth in our list is pretty strong right now and the fact that we’ve had two girls, who have been playing some good footy, miss out is testament to that.”
While McConnell is proud of what his GIANTS have achieved in 2020, making finals isn’t the just reward for three years of hard work.
“I’m pleased we’re in the finals but we’re not here to make up the numbers,” he said.
“We want to win.
“It’s all about what we are about to do, not what we have achieved and right now we’re looking to get better every time we train and play, and that’s what this weekend’s about.
Saturday’s clash at GIANTS Stadium is first time the GIANTS have faced Melbourne since round five, 2019.
With both sides heading into the finals with an identical win-loss record, McConnell is wary that it will be a tight contest.
“You’re playing an opposition and like every other week you play to beat them,” he said.
“Their performances are quite similar to ours, both teams restrict inside 50s.
“They’ve got some very good players particularly in their midfield, so it’ll be a good match up.”
GIANTS v Melbourne Demons
Saturday, March 21 at 2:40pm
FB: Pepa Randall, Tanya Hetherington
HB: Louise Stephenson, Elle Bennetts, Annalyse Lister
C: Jessica Dal Pos, Britt Tully, Taylah Davies
HF: Tait Mackrill, Rebecca Privitelli, Jodie Hicks
FF: Cora Staunton, Jacinda Barclay
Ruck: Erin McKinnon, Alyce Parker, Alicia Eva
Interchange: Haneen Zreika, Jess Allan, Rebecca Beeson, Lisa Steane, Aimee Schmidt
Emergencies: Emily Goodsir, Sarah Halvorsen
In: Alicia Eva, Jess Allan
Out: Emily Goodsir (omitted), Sarah Halvorsen (omitted)