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AFLW: Recruits make their mark

Sisters Sarah and Jess Allan compete in the ruck
Sisters Sarah and Jess Allan go head to head on Sunday
We know we are the hunted, so we want to do the ordinary things extraordinarily well
Bec Goddard

Adelaide’s AFLW draftees have shone in an internal trial at Football Park on Sunday.

The match concluded a three-day training camp where the five Darwin-based Crows spent the weekend in Adelaide with their teammates.

Forwards Eloise Jones and Ruth Wallace both kicked goals in their first proper hit-out with the Club, while first-round draft pick Jessica Allan contested strongly in the ruck.

After meeting most of her teammates for the first time this weekend, athletic utility Jasmyn Hewett also competed hard. Coach Bec Goddard was impressed with what she saw from her younger players.

“It was great to see Jas Hewett from Darwin come down and throw herself into some huge contests and I really liked young Eloise Jones, I thought she had a terrific game,” Goddard said.

“Marijana Rajcic as well showed some pretty good tricks and Ruth Wallace is obviously both left and right foot and opened up the ground and put some good run for us.

“I think it’s really exciting to think about the best 16 out of the 38 we saw play today, what that (team) could be capable of.”

Premiership players Ebony Marinoff, Jessica Sedunary and Anne Hatchard were also standouts.

Co-captain Erin Phillips and defender Talia Radan didn't take part in the 90-minute hit-out.

Seeing improvement from the existing Crows and encouraging signs from new players is important, as Goddard is under no illusion that 2018 will be a challenge for the reigning premiers.

“We know we are the hunted, so we want to do the ordinary things extraordinarily well,” she said.

“If that means our long kicking game is the best then we are going to be better at it this year.”

With all the new players on board, competition for spots is going to be stronger in 2018.

“They are making it more competitive at training which is what we want. They weren’t part of we achieved in season one so it’s a whole new breed, a whole new culture to build on what we had last year,” Goddard said.

“We are talking about success at the moment and it’s like a lift, people going on and off to keep going to the top and that’s what we are seeing at training.”

Goddard isn’t surprised by the growing sport and the amount of attention it is receiving.

“It hasn’t surprised me because I love footy and I know all the women in Australia love footy,” she said.

“I think the audience is about 51 per cent female so I knew it would be a success if we got a chance and I think that this year is going to be bigger and better.”

The women’s team will train for two more weeks before having a Christmas break.

On return, they will have a second training camp in Darwin including a trial match against Fremantle, before their 2018 season commences on February 3.