Irish Giant out to back up stunning debut season

IRISH forward Yvonne Bonner isn't quite sure how she did it, but she plans to eclipse her outstanding debut season with Greater Western Sydney in 2020.

Despite playing the sport for the first time last season, Bonner kicked six goals and didn't miss a game for the Giants in their disappointing two-win campaign.

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One of the athletic goalkicker's efforts in round three against Carlton was a Goal of the Year contender after she beat two Blues opponents before snapping truly on her left boot.

Irish Giant's brilliance from the boundary

00:22 Feb 16. 2019. 5:26 PM

Yvonne Bonner turns her Carlton opponent inside out and curls home a cracking goal

She told womens.afl that the freedom afforded to her by coach Alan McConnell and the support of her teammates helped her through the 2019 season.

I suppose the excitement and adrenalin carried me through, but when I reflect on it, I don't even know how I managed to play the amount of the games I did.

Yvonne Bonner

"I suppose with the knowledge and experience I had, I was happy enough with my first season.

"You expect too much, but there's a lot I can improve on and I'm looking forward to another season.

"When I arrived in Sydney I hardly knew the rules, and I'm not saying I'm an expert now, but I'm feeling a lot more comfortable now."

The Giants have a team in the VFLW competition over winter, but while Bonner and her husband Paul decided to stay in Sydney instead of going back to their county Donegal in Ireland, she didn't play in the League.

Instead, she concentrated on her strength and conditioning and followed the Giants' AFL team's stunning run to the Grand Final against Richmond.

"I picked up a lot of small things watching the men's games, so it's been great learning about the game," she said.

"I tried to get out to most of the home games and watched the away games on TV, and when it's more relaxed like that, instead of watching footage on a computer, you pick up a lot more.

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"It was a big decision for us to stay on, but we didn't really have a set plan when we came out here.

"I like to go with the flow I guess and see what happens and I've really enjoyed our time over winter.

"It's great that the girls are back in Sydney now and the group is together again."

While Bonner will be one of the Giants' key targets inside 50 in 2020, McConnell told womens.afl he's considering a change of roles for the mobile forward.

"I'm pretty excited about what she might deliver this season," he said.

"I might play her further up the ground because she's got great speed and endurance.

"We haven't really maximised the endurance aspect of her athleticism (so far) but as we look to develop her footy smarts that becomes easier.

"She seems more relaxed this season, which isn't surprising, and more comfortable with what she can do, and with that she's been more vocal around the group."

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