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Melbourne Football Club

Stinear ready for AFLW round one

Melbourne AFLW coach Mick Stinear said his side is ready to respond after a disappointing finish to 2017.

In a result which saw Melbourne miss the grand final on percentage, Stinear said they will be heading into Saturday afternoon’s season opener with confidence.

“I think definitely that feeling of missing out last year is one that has stuck with us,” Stinear told

“This year, we’re determined to make sure things are in our control and we can do that by starting well tomorrow night.”

Continuing to build on the game style introduced last season, the team has brought in several new players who are set to make an impact.

Stinear said he is excited by the prospect of ex-basketballers Tegan Cunningham and Kate Hore creating opportunities up front.

“We’ve been able to introduce some players into our forward line who can finish really well.”

“There might be stages when we’re down by a few goals, but the girls will believe that they can turn that around really quick, so it’s a good thing to have in our group.”

Melbourne has generated attention throughout its training program, with the team now a favourite to take out the competition.

Despite the increased expectation, vice-captain Mel Hickey said they are taking it in their stride.

“We know what we’re striving for – we want that premiership,” she said.

“If people are talking about us, then I suppose that’s a good thing, but I don’t think we feel anymore pressure than what we already have for ourselves.”

Hickey, who will play more of a role in the midfield this time around, said the intense competition makes for an exciting second season.

“I think every game you almost have to take it like it’s a final.”

“If you drop off, you’re almost out of that premiership race, and we saw that last year when we weren’t quite on and dropped two games.

“I think anyone on their day can win this competition; it’s that ruthless.”

NAB AFL Women’s Competition - Round One
Melbourne v GWS Giants 
Casey Fields
Saturday 3 February, 5.05pm EDT
Entry to this match is free.