Adelaide AFLW captain Chelsea Randall watched on from the sidelines during this year’s grand final after ruling herself out with concussion.
Despite being unable to take to the field following a head knock in the preliminary final and the eventual result, there is one thing Randall will always remember from the day.
“The biggest highlight for me that day was actually seeing almost all of our past players in that room there waiting for us, when we were down,” Randall said.
“When you see players leave to other Clubs and then come back, it speaks to how amazing things are at the Crows.
“It was just amazing, they travelled from everywhere to come and be there to support us.
“That was an awesome moment just to see them and go, ‘Wow, we’ve done something right here.”
It’s that special culture that will drive the side to go one better in 2022, after losing this year’s flag decider to Brisbane.
“We have exceptional talent, but we have exceptional individuals,” Randall said.
“We’re good at drafting not just quality players, but quality people.
“When you have good people that have a connection with one another, you have a really good environment where people are sitting at their office, in their full-time jobs, just eager to get to training.
“That’s the kind of vibe that the Adelaide Crows have, where girls just want to get around each other.
“I’m so excited to get started again. We put that (the loss) behind us, be proud of our efforts in 2021, and we go again,”
Randall will be forced to wait another four months before putting on the tri-colours again, with the start date for the 2022 AFLW season pushed back until January.
She told AFC Media she was excited for pre-season to start next week and would be ready to go come Round One.
“A lot of the girls have been putting in a great off-season,” Randall said.
“We’re starting to get the band back together, we had great news from the AFLPA that we were able to train an optional six hours a week together, which was really nice.
“I just can’t wait to officially get started, I’m pumped.”
Although missing football, Randall has used the off-season to do plenty of fun things, including renovating and travelling.
“I bought a caravan at the start of the year and I’ve just been doing it up,” Randall said.
“We went away on the fly just to Western Australia (and) it took eight days to get across.
“We saw my family and I spent time with my nieces and nephews.
“I loved it, it was refreshing. It was something I’ve always wanted to do, so to go with the dogs and MJ (Marijana Rajcic) was pretty awesome.”