Lions' Hunt says women's AFL is getting better
AUSSIE RULES: With the Brisbane Lions' showdown against reigning AFLW premiers Adelaide Crows just 10 days away, former BITS Saints player Megan Hunt is bullish that her Lions team can go one better.
Midfielder Hunt expects the standard of the women's AFL competition to get better and better after the AFLW inaugural season last year.
"It was a very hard pre-season prior to Christmas and everyone expected that," she said.
"After playing last year we knew that this year is going to be a lot higher standard and the ability of every other team is going to be higher.
"We knew that we had to have a really hard pre-season where our strength and conditioning coaches have really put us through our paces."
The Lions had its first hit-out against Greater Western Sydney Giants in a trial match last weekend and Hunt said the coaching staff have implemented game-style exercises on the training track.
While it was 'just' a practice match against the Giants, Hunt said she was disappointed with how she and the team played, but understood there is plenty to work on ahead of the Crows match.
"I think we went in there a bit too chilled and relaxed and weren't really there from the get-go," she said.
"Our coaches were a little bit disappointed, but I guess at least we know where we are at now and we know what to work on leading into round one."
Hunt said training was sharp on Monday night and the pre-season loss jolted the players' to be focussed for round one.
"We just have to be positive now and leave that game behind," she said.
Hunt lauded the effort of rookie-listed player Gabby Collingwood in the game against the Giants.
"On the weekend we had about eight girls that have never played for the Lions, so we're a pretty fresh and young team this year," she said.
"Gabby Collingwood had an absolute ripper and she put a really big stance on the game on the weekend and she's got a big future ahead."
Hunt expects GWS to be one of the big improvers and the way they played last weekend is an indicator that the rise in standard will ensure the gap between the bottom sides and the top four teams, will close.
"They came out firing and they had a big pre-season and it showed," she said of the Giants' team.
"You can just tell that the standard there has just lifted and it seems they have a real good culture on and off the field."
Hunt is excited about the likelihood of more teams poised to enter the AFLW such as North Melbourne and Geelong in 2019 and four more the following year.
"I think it's awesome and I take my hat off to the AFL in having so much faith in female footy and wanting to bring in more teams in the next few years," she said.
"It's going to be interesting to see once the Gold Coast Suns come in and hopefully keep our team the same for the next few years.
"It's awesome that it's happening."
When asked if the soon-to-be revamped BITS Oval would attract an AFLW practice match, Hunt was more hopeful of a home-coming.
"It would be good to come to my home field and who know what the future holds I guess," she said.
Round one against the Crows will be televised live on Fox Footy on February 3.