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AFLW: Hollick getting hitched

March 8, 2017 1:26 PM

Bec Goddard Presser March 8 Bec Goddard speaks to the media ahead of her side's crucial Round 6 clash with Melbourne at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
AFLW 2017 Rd 01 - Adelaide v GWS Giants

Monique Hollick is getting married this weekend

Mon and her fiancé James are going to be lining up to do the 800m sprint down the aisle in the Barossa to get married this weekend

AFLW Crows midfielder Monique Hollick is unavailable for selection this week for a unique reason.

Hollick, 26, is getting married to her partner of six years, James Boden, on Friday.

The AFL Women’s Competition didn’t exist when the pair, who met through athletics, set the date for their nuptials more than a year ago.

While the Satellite Engineer is getting hitched, the Crows will be en route to Darwin ahead of Saturday night’s crucial clash with Melbourne.

A number of teammates attended an afternoon tea for Hollick on Sunday, while the Club’s Northern Territory-based players wished her well via Skype.

Women’s Senior Coach Bec Goddard said the Club was supportive of Hollick taking the weekend off.

“Mon and her fiancé James are going to be lining up to do the 800m sprint down the aisle in the Barossa to get married this weekend,” Goddard said on Wednesday.

“Before Mon got drafted, she had no idea she was going to be playing football and booked her wedding day, as you do when you’re well organised, about a year-and-a-half ago.

“She could never have planned this would be the case, but she won’t be selected this weekend because life is more important than football.

“We wish her and James all the best.”

Hollick acknowledged it was an ‘unprecedented’ situation.

“Most footy players organise their wedding for the off-season, but I didn’t know I was going to be playing with the Crows a year ago!” Hollick said.

“Thankfully, the Crows have been very accommodating. I guess it’s not every day you get married and I’m very appreciative of the support.”

Forward Rachael Killian could be in the mix to replace Hollick in the team.

Killian was a late withdrawal from the Club’s loss to the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night because of hamstring tightness.

“We’re getting pretty good reports from the doctor,” Goddard said.

“We’re hoping she (Killian) is going to be available for selection.”

Killian, 22, kicked the Club’s first-ever women’s goal when the Crows took on Fremantle in a trial game in Darwin earlier this year.

Goddard was hopeful the experience of playing in the hot and humid conditions on the expanses of TIO Stadium would benefit her team and, in particular, the forward line.

“I think that trial game has set us up really well for where we want to be this weekend,” she said.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing our key forwards in some nice, open space … Kellie Gibson getting her hands on the footy, Rachael Killian coming back in, hopefully, and seeing her lead up and hit the footy hard.

“Sarah Perkins had a really good day out against Freo in that practice match, whilst she didn’t quite convert. We expect really big things from our forwards this week.”

Saturday night’s match, which starts at 5:40pm local or 6:40pm SA time, is a home game for the Crows, who have training bases in both Adelaide and Darwin.

It’s the only time during the seven-week season that the Club’s NT-based players don’t travel.

“Half our team lives there and it’s exciting for them to have a home game. Therefore, we (the South Australian-based Crows) are treated like it’s home as well,” Goddard said.

“The amount of support we get from our Darwin fans, family and friends is unbelievable.

“The girls were ready to go to Darwin on Monday! In fact I said to Erin (Phillips), ‘Why didn’t we book our flights earlier this week?’

“It’ll be great. We can’t wait to get there and be together as a team.”

The Crows had a “strong and honest” review following last week’s three-point loss to the Lions.

It was the Club’s first defeat in five AFLW games.

Goddard said the playing group, led by co-captains Chelsea Randall and Erin Phillips and joint vice-captains Ange Foley and Sally Riley, was in a positive mindset.

“The takeaways were that it was really just half a kick at the end of the game that was the difference,” she said.

“And some of our decision making under pressure … skill errors and those types of thing were forced unnecessarily at times. We just bombed away into our (forward) 50m for no reason when we had other options on.

“The leaders have been excellent at getting around the group. I’m hoping we respond really well.”

The Demons, who suffered an upset loss to Greater Western Sydney last week, remain in the hunt for a grand final spot.

Goddard said the fourth-placed Dees were a better team than the ladder suggested.

“Their onball division is one of the best in the competition in Karen Paxman, Daisy Pearce and Elise O’Dea,” she said.

“Their handpassing game is superb and their football tricks are at the top of the competition. We expect our midfield are going to have a pretty hard day. It’ll be a great, even battle.”

The top two teams on the AFLW ladder at the end of seven rounds will contest the grand final on Saturday afternoon, March 25.

Goddard said the second-placed Crows would maintain a narrow focus in the last two rounds.

“We are in control of our own destiny. We can’t worry about results of other games,” she said.

“We’ve always gone in week-by-week to play our best footy and, as a consequence, win the games to be in this position that we’re in. This week is a really important game to continue on that road.”

Crows players will wear purple sweatbands on Saturday night as part of International Women’s Day celebrations. Purple is the official colour for International Women’s Day and gender equality.

The game will be broadcast live in SA on Channel 7. Fans in other states can watch on 7 Mate, Fox Footy or the AFL App.