Giants not losing confidence despite winless start

CONCENTRATING for an entire game is the key to breaking Greater Western Sydney's winless start to the NAB AFLW season.

The Giants have had a tough opening two matches, losing to two-time grand finalist Brisbane by two points and competition pace-setters North Melbourne by 25 in a storm-affected affair last Friday night.

Winger Elle Bennetts said Saturday's clash against Carlton (also winless) at Blacktown International Sportspark, provided an excellent opportunity for the side to break through.

"We've still got confidence within the group. It's being able to play for four quarters that's the key. There have been lapses in concentration, which I think has let us down a little bit," Bennetts told womens.afl.

"The conditions and disruptions didn't help last weekend (lightning and a power outage at Drummoyne Oval caused havoc), but at the same time, I think that shouldn’t impact too much.

"You just have to control what you can control. The energy and the positivity are still there, and we know we can win.

"Last season, we were in the same situation, we had two losses at the start of the year and then we were able to find a bit of form.

"There are only a few things we need to change, so hopefully we can pull them together and that should put us in good stead."

AFLW Match Highlights: GWS v North Melbourne

04:59 Feb 8. 2019. 10:17 PM

The Giants and Kangaroos clash in Round 2 of the AFLW

The 29-year-old is feeling increasingly comfortable at AFLW level after picking the game up again last year, when she was signed as a cross-sport rookie.

Outside of footy, Bennetts is a netballer playing in the midcourt for the New South Wales Waratahs in the Australian Netball League, the feeder competition for the top-level Super Netball competition.

The netball season starts directly after the AFLW season, so she jumps across when football winds up.

"Last year was my first (official) year of footy. I had played Auskick in primary school and I finished that when I was around 11.

"I went to primary school with Alicia Eva and we're family friends. She planted the seed and it went from there.

"I had never really thought to get involved in football, just because netball is and has been such a big commitment, but I'm so glad I have.

"I absolutely love netball but it's so hard to get to the top level. There are fewer players and fewer opportunities, and the teams tend to retain a lot of the same players. I missed out (on the top level), so I'm glad footy came around."

Swapping between football and netball has thrown up some challenges for Bennetts.

"In football, you train and play outdoors and have to play in the rain, whereas netball you have the same conditions every time you play," she said.

"The different fitness required means I find it quite hard to switch from one sport to the other. In netball you're mainly working on your speed and anaerobic fitness, as well as endurance, but you're only running short bursts.

"The longer running in football is quite hard to transition into, but endurance is actually my strength, so I guess football suits me in that regard."

Bennetts works part-time as a phys-ed teacher and sports coach for St Catherine's School in Waverley, a girls' school near Bondi and Bronte beaches.

"I was teaching in Melbourne, but I resigned to come up here and I'm working at a school which is a 10-minute walk from where I'm living," she said.

"It's a kindergarten-to-year-12 school, and they've just introduced football into the junior school sports program, which is really exciting.

"It's good to be part of running the new sport and the kids can look up to you as well. I've been enjoying life in Sydney."

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