The Crows have named an unchanged team for Saturday’s AFLW Grand Final at Metricon Stadium.
Versatile veteran Courtney Cramey, who was concussed in the first quarter against Collingwood last weekend, has been selected in the side. Tayla Thorn and Lauren O’Shea are the emergencies.
Cramey, 31, joined in training on Wednesday night and flew with the squad to the Gold Coast on Thursday.
Coach Bec Goddard said the All Australian nominee would be given every opportunity to play in the history-making decider against the Brisbane Lions.
“Courtney is doing all the right things with her recovery. As you know with concussion, there’s not much you can do. You’ve just got to wait, do the tests and hope the result comes up your way,” Goddard said.
“Courtney will be given as long as possible to recover from that. There’s a pretty strict protocol around concussion and there has to be because the welfare of the player is paramount.
“All I know is Courtney is one of the most professional athletes in our group. She’s had a long and distinguished career in women’s football, and she desperately wants to play.”
The Crows and Lions will battle it out for the inaugural AFLW flag at Metricon Stadium from 12:55pm local time, which is 1:25pm in South Australia. Fans in SA and the Northern Territory can watch the game from ‘live sites’ in their respective states. More details.
The Lions took the honours in a thriller when the teams met at Norwood Oval in Round Five.
Goddard was hopeful her team could use the experience to its advantage this weekend.
“I think it was Nelson Mandela who said, ‘I don’t lose, I win or learn’. For us, we really learned from the two (lost) games against Brisbane and Melbourne. That has helped with the resilience of the group,” she said.
“We got to three-quarter time last week as well and our backs were really up against it. To turn it around and put on 5.2 in the last quarter shows that we’re capable of winning games the way that we want to.”
Since the final siren at Olympic Park on Sunday, Goddard has encouraged her team to enjoy Grand Final week, but also to remain focused on Saturday’s big task.
“We haven’t come this far, just to come this far. Now that we’re here, we want to make the most of the opportunity,” Goddard said.
“All of the group is really determined. You could see it on their faces at the end of the game last week.
“They know that it’s a massive opportunity, but we sort of go back to where we were at the start which was ‘You only get one chance to make a first impression’. Now, we get one chance to make a lasting impression on the competition.”
The Adelaide-based players joined their Northern Territory teammates together on the Gold Coast a day earlier than usual. They will get their first look at Metricon Stadium on Friday.
The match was shifted to the Gold Coast from the GABBA after the Brisbane surface was deemed not to be fit to play on following a recent Adele concert.
Goddard said the Crows were happy to play the game anywhere.
“If you’d seen some of the football grounds that these girls have played on over the course of their careers, you could tell that it just wasn’t an issue,” she said.
“Even with the GABBA, none of us have played on there – the Brisbane girls haven’t played on there before and we haven’t played on there before. And neither of us have played on Metricon.
“I said early on in the piece, you could put us out on the nature strip out the front of West Lakes and we’d really be quite happy.”
The team is: