Excitement looms in Ireland as natives Ailish Considine and Orla O’Dwyer have both been named in tomorrow’s 2021 AFLW Grand Final.
Considine’s inclusion will see her play her first AFLW game since round six, coming into the side as a replacement for captain Chelsea Randall (concussion).
O’Dwyer, who has had a standout year in just her second season with the Lions and was voted as the AFL Ireland Women’s Irish Player of the Year, will join Considine in becoming the second Irishwoman in the competition’s history to play in an AFLW Grand Final.
With the two girls playing on opposing sides, tomorrow’s match will guarantee premiership success (again) for Ireland.
Considine, who has faced an interrupted season through injury, became the first Irishwoman to win an AFLW premiership in her debut season in the league in 2019.
Finishing on top of the ladder, Adelaide have earned home ground advantage which will see the match played at Adelaide Oval, where it last drew a crowd of 53,000 fans.
O’Dwyer and the Lions, who finished the season second on the ladder, will be looking to win their first AFLW flag after overcoming the Collingwood Magpies by just four-points last week.
Adelaide were able to capitalise on an inefficient Demons side, winning their preliminary final by 18-points and are on the hunt for their third premiership since the competition’s inaugural season in 2017.
The AFL Europe community will also be keeping a close eye on both head coaches tomorrow.
Over the past few years, we’ve been fortunate to have Adelaide’s Matthew Clarke and Brisbane’s Craig Starcevich get involved and support the AFL Europe community and the growth of the sport across the continent.
Adelaide Crows Head Coach, Matthew Clarke, made the trip to London in 2018 to speak at AFL Europe’s Grand Final Lunch in September.
Brisbane Lions Head Coach, Craig Starcevich, who was in Switzerland last year in the AFLW’s off-season, assisted the Basel Dragons and AFL Switzerland through their 2020 season.
Whilst in Europe, Starcevich also made a trip to Heidelberg, Germany and ran a training session with the German women’s national side.
Earlier this week, Starcevich was recognised as the AFL Coaches Association’s AFLW senior coach of the year.
As voted by his peers, Starcevich earned the nod ahead of Adelaide’s Matthew Clarke in second, and Melbourne’s Mick Stinear in third.
The 2021 AFL Women’s season has been the most brilliant and unpredictable yet, and I’m sure tomorrow’s match will be no different.
The match kicks off at 5:00AM BST / 6:00AM CEST and can be watched outside of Australia via Watch AFL.
See the full teams and match details via the AFL Women’s website.