Adelaide AFLW  Premiership heroes Sally Riley, Sarah Perkins and Jess Foley all have similar feelings about the ingredients of team success.

They say the foundation of success is built with strong culture and connection amongst the players, coaches and staff.

And the trio is part of a new initiative at the Crows nest, with AFLW Premiership stars catching up with current players to help inspire and guide the next generation to sustained success.

This month, Riley and Perkins, who were part of the inaugural Premiership team and Foley, who featured in the 2019 Grand Final win, chatted with current Crows defender Kiera Mueller and recruit Lily Tarlinton.

The former players spoke about the values, lessons learnt and the connections they formed.

Mueller, who will enter her third AFLW season this year, said she learnt a lot from speaking with the Premiership stars.

“It was really good to understand what they went through when they were here, obviously having half the team split here and in Darwin,” Mueller said.

“We spoke a lot about a trademark and values and living up to those, and how those elite standards were held during that inaugural year.”

We spoke a lot about a trademark and values and living up to those, and how those elite standards were held during that inaugural year.

Perkins and Riley featured in Adelaide’s inaugural side that finished the 2017 AFLW season in second spot on the ladder and went on to defeat Brisbane in the Grand Final.

Mueller said having those players etch their names in history had set the groundwork for Adelaide to win two more Premierships in 2019 and 2022 (Season Six).

“They really cemented in the elite standards and values that the girls that are still here from the first year still live and breathe today,” Mueller said.

“It means everyone coming into the club has that exception to follow in the footsteps of them.

“All three of them were so eager to help out even now, so the connection they have not just with one another but with the club was evident.”

Riley said having an opportunity to speak with current players and share her story was a privilege, with the Club still being such a special place.

“It was an honour to be asked to speak to the girls and I immediately jumped at the chance,” Riley said.

“As Adelaide’s inaugural team didn’t know what we were doing so it was a great opportunity to share some of what we had to go through and being given the chance to connect with the newer players it felt really special to share those stories.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the staff and how they have kept us connected.

“Chelsea Randall gave me a tour the other week when I came over for Gather Round and I still get goosebumps walking into the place.”

Adelaide’s inaugural side was split across two states, with players based in Adelaide and Darwin, and Perkins said the team was so successful because players prioritised building a strong team culture.

“Team dinners and lunches during interstate trips was when we were really able to connect and get to know each other because you had 20 training together but another 10 living in Darwin,” Perkins said.

“It is wild to be successful when you think of the setup we had, but it was because we made the effort to get to know each other which brought us closer as a group.

Perkins later went on to play for Gold Coast, Melbourne and Hawthorn, and while at the Suns, worked alongside Tarlinton who was a train on player for the side at the time.

The now 30-year-old said she offered some advice to Tarlinton, who had moved interstate to pursue her dream of playing AFLW.

“I was able to share with her advice about moving, since I moved with Victoria and how important it is to get a network of friends outside of the Crows,” Perkins said.

“Also told them to not be afraid to ask as many questions as you can and push yourself at training against the best players to be the best they can, since they will be the future of the club.”