Captain or not, Farrugia targets Giant improvement

AMANDA Farrugia has been a rock as Greater Western Sydney's captain over the first two seasons of the NAB AFL Women's competition. Although she wants to continue the role in 2019, she knows the decision is out of her hands.

Farrugia was the obvious choice to skipper the young Giants in the inaugural season of AFLW given her footy experience and leadership skills, and she's been an outstanding representative for the club both on and off the field.

But with the GWS players voting for their captain each season, and the continual turnover of faces each year at AFLW level, new players could bring change to the leadership group.

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Last year's club champion and All Australian Alicia Eva was Farrugia's deputy last season and looms as the standout candidate to take over, with the midfielder already coaching teams of her own, and highly rated as one of the sharpest minds in female footy.

The Giants' players will pick their 2019 captain early next year, but Farrugia told she hasn't wasted any of her valuable time thinking about the role, especially with the AFLW season so condensed.

"Captaincy is the ultimate privilege, particularly the way we vote in our leadership group," she said.

"It's elected by the players and there's no greater honour in my opinion than leading the group of girls you go into battle with every weekend.

"It would be something I would be honoured to do again but we haven't even spoken about it yet.

"In order to have an informed vote, the girls need to spend time together and get to know each other, and we'll do that in due time," she said.

"It's an added stress that the new girls don't need yet."

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Farrugia and Eva, along with teammates including Courtney Gum, Jessica Dal Pos, Emma Swanson and Tanya Hetherington, played crucial roles in helping the Giants climb from last to fourth last season.

But official leadership title or not, Farrugia said it's up to all players to make the team even stronger under coach Alan McConnell in 2019.

"Everybody has an unspoken role in that area," she said.

"The senior girls take more of a vocal approach and in a way we're the spokespeople for the messages Al puts forward in meetings and before training.

"There are girls who are more focused on strategy and footy-based instructional talk, then there are others who are there to provide support and make sure everybody's heads are up if they make a mistake and that kind of thing.

"That's particularly important for the new girls because the first couple of weeks of training are pretty full-on."

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After being the general of the backline in her first season, Farrugia moved to the wing in 2018 and helped make the team's midfield far more competitive, especially in contested situations.

"The wing suits my natural instincts to run and it suited my strengths a little bit better," Farrugia said.

"Sometimes you can get a bit cold out there so it's good to be able to chase the footy.

"I enjoyed the challenge and being part of the midfield."

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