GUN FREMANTLE midfielder Kiara Bowers set the field alight in her first AFLW season and is set to have another big impact in 2020.
The tackling machine was signed as a marquee player in 2016, but complications following a knee reconstruction saw her sidelined for the first two years of the NAB AFLW competition.
Bowers averaged 17 disposals and 11 tackles from her eight games in 2019 to be named All-Australian but didn't play for WAFLW side Subiaco following the conclusion of the AFLW season.
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Teammate Ebony Antonio was asked who was burning up the track in the Dockers' pre-season, and answered without hesitation.
"'Turbo' (Bowers). She's an absolute gun and leading by example as always," Antonio said.
Despite Fremantle having fielded an AFLW side for the past three years, Saturday marked the first time that all the club's men's and women's players had trained together.
Under the watchful eye of AFLW coach Trent Cooper and new AFL coach Justin Longmuir, the combined Dockers squad took part in ball games and skill work.
"It's fantastic they allowed us to train with the boys. Since we've been here in the first season, we've been wanting this opportunity. Today was a great day, and hopefully we can get a few more opportunities like this," Antonio said.
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Star AFL forward Michael Walters echoed Antonio's sentiments.
"It was good fun, it was good to hang out with the girls. We see each other round the traps, but we don't really get that chance to mingle and play some games," Walters said.
Fremantle's AFLW side was faced with unprecedented upheaval in the team's short history, losing nine players to expansion side West Coast.
Among the outs was dynamic midfielder Dana Hooker, who has finished in the top two of the club's best and fairest every season.
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Despite the changes, Antonio was positive the off-season additions – including Irish rookie duo Kate Flood and Aine Tighe, and high-flying draftee Roxy Roux – will have a big impact.
A 2019 All Australian, Roxy Roux also starred in East Fremantle’s 2019 WAFLW premiership win. She is an exciting forward prospect who has a very strong overhead grab that can pinch hit in the ruck #AFLWDraft #foreverfreo pic.twitter.com/ojAWIliQgF— Fremantle Dockers (@freodockers) October 22, 2019
"There's a lot of excitement. We lost eight or nine girls to other teams, but the girls we brought in are fantastic characters," Antonio said.
"The young girls we brought in, they're not just good prospects for next year, they're future prospects for playing 10 years here at Freo.
"We're real fit as a group, probably better this time then last year. We just can't wait to hit round one and we're right to go."