Strong pre-season gives Parker confidence ahead of AFLW opener

Alyce Parker will head into her second AFL Women’s campaign knowing the GIANTS have given themselves the best opportunity to succeed in 2020.

The GIANTS finished an action-packed month of pre-season with a dominant win over the Brisbane Lions at Tom Wills Oval on Sunday, maintaining the momentum they generated in claiming a hard-fought win over the Crows in Adelaide earlier this month.

Approaching their season opener against the Gold Coast SUNS on Saturday February 8 at Blacktown International Sportspark, Parker says the GIANTS are full of confidence after a successful off-season.

“I can confidently say that this year with the results we’ve had in the practice matches, we’re in a good position for the year ahead,” Parker said.

“I’m very confident where the group is at, from the fourth-year players to the first year players, there is a sense of excitement about what we’re capable of achieving as a team this year.”

The GIANTS will head into their fourth AFLW season without former Captain Amanda Farrugia, after the 35-year-old announced her retirement from the elite competition late last year.

“Obviously losing a player of her calibre had a big impact on us as a playing group,” Parker said.

“We all miss Fridge, we’d love her to be out here with us but at the same time she’s happy and she’s made the right decision.”

Parker was full of praise for new captain Alicia Eva, who previously coached the Holbrook product in the Under 18 Championships.

“For Alicia to come in and take over as captain was a decision everyone knew was going to happen, she’s the perfect person for the job and that’s demonstrated by the impact she’s had in such a short time,” Parker said.

“She’s been incredible the way she’s shaped our team and our values on and off the field, she’ll have a huge impact on us this year and will no doubt be a core part of our success moving forward.”

A former AFL NSW/ACT Ram, Parker will be joined by other Rams Georgia Garnett and Maggie Gorham at the GIANTS this year, with the pair impressing early on.

“I’m really enjoying having some company from the Rams squad,” she said.

“We had Georgia Garnett and Maggie Gorham both come in and in good shape, they’re training well, and I’m trying to help them along the way.

“I’m very impressed with the way they’re coming along and the way they’re developing, I can definitely see from my experience last year and the challenges you come up against, they’re both doing really well and acting like a sponge in this new environment and learning lots.”