The GWS Giants are hoping that a relatively healthy list, home-ground advantage, and no travel time are the ingredients to notch up their second win of the 2022 AFL Women’s season.
Newly minted Giant, Chloe Dalton is very eager to enter Henson Park on Friday night to play the Western Bulldogs. It is the first time the Giants are playing at the venue, and Dalton is feeling the support from home.
“I think for me, growing up in Sydney and coming from a rugby league, rugby union family, it’s really special to have the chance to play AFL at home,” she told media on Tuesday.
“Particularly in the inner west of Sydney, where it loves its footy, it’s really cool to have a home game and hopefully see a lot of family and friends down there too.”
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For Dalton and her teammates, it is a long awaited homecoming after three weeks on the road.
While coach Alan McConnell gave no excuses post-match on Sunday, travelling has taken its toll.
“I know it’s been very difficult for the girls being on the road for three weeks, coming in off the back of work during the week, making sure you get your recovery in on time and being ready to go again,” Dalton said.
“The fact that there is less time between the North game and this week’s game on Friday night works for us because we can go out there and nail the game plan from the beginning.
“This also means a chance to train at home and hopefully two home games in a row for us.”
Looking back at last week’s game against the North Melbourne Tasmania Kangaroos, the GWS Giants were outplayed and went out losing by 27 points at Arden Street Oval.
They didn’t register a goal until the dying minutes of the third quarter, going scoreless for five quarters straight after collapsing post-quarter time against Fremantle as well.
Not many were more disappointed with their performance than their own captain Alicia Eva.
“We were bitterly disappointed after the game, I know I was and I know Alan was, and I know our supporters were,” the skipper said.
Dalton was one of the players that came to life in the final term against the Roos, utilising her pace to drive the ball inside 50 and pick off leads from her forwards.
But it wasn’t enough to justify what was a dismal start, outplayed in every area.
“Our fourth quarter performance was good in terms of evening out the scoreline a little bit, but just too little, too late there,” she said.
“I think that’s going to be a key thing this week. We obviously didn’t show a lot of consistency against North on the weekend, I think we got dominated at the contest which is something we have wanted to go out there to do.”
The Giants lost the contested possession count by 16, the tackle count by 13, and the clearance count by five. They’re all key areas they’ll have to work on before the match up with the Bulldogs.
But despite the statistical and game plan woes, McConnell had a very measured approach when asked about the loss.
“You might have 15 teammates on the field but trying to stem the tide like that is like you are trying to do it on your own,” he said.
“Sometimes I think we overcomplicate things. It may look like we are not trying on the field, but I think we are trying too hard, it’s complex and it’s simple at the same time.”
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