Crows ready for pre-season training in Darwin

Adelaide’s AFLW squad will look to strengthen their already strong team bond this week when they travel to the Northern Territory for pre-season training.

The reigning Prime Ministers leave Adelaide on Wednesday evening and will spend four days in the high end, with an emphasis on fitness and team bonding.

Players will take part in a variety of activities including a full day of training with the Australian Defense Force, skill-based skill-building activities and training at the TIO Stadium.

Crows head of women’s football Phil Harper said the trip to Darwin was an important part of mentally and physically preparing the players for the start of season seven.

Harper expects the next AFLW season to be the toughest yet, given that all 18 clubs will have a squad in the competition.

He said training with the ADF, which will include lots of physical challenges, such as obstacle courses, will help improve physical fitness and mental toughness.

“We haven’t been able to do a proper pre-season training trip for the past few years due to the Covid pandemic, so we’re all looking forward to it,” Harper said.

“The team are very lucky to train with the Australian Defense Force and I know the players are keen to learn as much as they can.

“The ADF can help our players learn more about what an elite training environment looks like.”

Harper said it was also an opportunity for new members of the Crows squad – rookies Keeley Kustermann, Kiera Mueller, Amber Ward, Niamh Kelly and Jess Waterhouse – to get to know their new teammates.

“Over the past six years, our team has prided itself on being a tight-knit group and the strong bonds they have created have helped us achieve success,” said Harper.

“The team have been training very hard for a month and a half and this trip gives them a chance to continue and interact outside of football, all in a much warmer climate.

“There will certainly be a lot of foot-based drills, but getting to know each other well off the pitch, we believe will help us generate strong results on the pitch.”

The Crows will travel to Darwin on Wednesday July 20 and most will return on Sunday July 24.

Adelaide kicks off its premiership defense with a Grand Final rematch against Melbourne in the floodlights at Norwood Oval on Friday August 26.

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Richard V. Johnson