Another chapter in AFLW history is about to be written on Friday night, with the first AFLW Showdown taking place at Adelaide Oval.
Speaking about the momentous occasion at a press conference, the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, made special note of the hype and excitement that surrounds a Showdown in South Australia.
“We know that the contest on Friday night, as is the case with any Showdown, is likely to be very close,” he said.
“This will be a fiercely fought battle, and we’re very excited about the prospect of the first AFLW showdown, here in front of a packed house at Adelaide Oval.”
Adelaide Crows captain Chelsea Randall spoke about the mood ahead of taking part in the history-making event.
“It’s going to be a very historic moment, for both clubs, [it’s] something we’ve been looking forward to for a very long time and having all 18 clubs represented in this football competition,” she said.
“And now to get the opportunity to play the first-ever women’s Showdown, it’s going to be an amazing day, over at Adelaide we’re very excited for the opportunity.
“It’s obviously something that’s never happened before, it’s the first time these two teams have played against one another, and I think here in South Australia the Showdown is one of the most iconic game days.
“For a lot of South Australians, it’s the one they mark in the calendar, they’ve circled it. So, we’re excited for our fans to get down and watch and celebrate with us.
“This is going to be an extraordinary moment for South Australian fans, both Port and Crows.”
Back in 1997 at the inaugural Showdown, the Power drew first blood, defeating the Crows by 11 points at Football Park.
And Port vice-captain Angela Foley would love nothing more than to get the wood on her ex-Crows’ teammates and snare the first AFLW showdown win.
“Yeah, definitely, you know, we’re competitors, and we want to win every game,” she said.
“But in terms of that rivalry, there’s a mutual passion for women’s footy, in every game that we play.
“I think there are small little rivalries across the competition, so will the rivalry start straight away when the ball goes up on Friday night? Absolutely.”
Friday night will also be the first time Foley, along with Erin Phillips and Justine Mules, will play her old side where she won two premierships. Foley’s focus is firmly on Port Adelaide for this match.
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“We were lucky enough to have a little praccy match, early on in the pre-season and I enjoyed that,” Foley said.
“We’re six rounds deep in the competition, and we’re just going about our business here at Port Adelaide and we’re improving every week. We’re really proud of where we are and where we sit at the minute.
“The result didn’t fall our way [against Gold Coast], but we’re absolutely on the right track and can physically match it with every side in this competition. Friday night, we hope to do that.”
Randall also has a firm focus on her own team’s performance for Friday night, and what they can do to ensure they get first blood in the AFLW showdown.
“I think it’s just going to be a matter of going about our business, and at this stage, we’ll see how the matchups unfold, and when team selection unfolds, we’ll look at that,” she said.
“But for now, we’re just focused on us as Crows and the footy that we’re trying to play, we’ve really been working on that contested side of our game.
“The girls were really able to put some of that together [against GWS] which were really pleasing signs.
“Hopefully we can continuously keep getting better and tweaking some things. It’s just fantastic to see some of our young girls displaying the footy that they are playing at the moment.”
The Inaugural AFLW Showdown gets underway Friday at 7:30 pm at Adelaide Oval.
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