NEW RICHMOND skipper Katie Brennan says she's never enjoyed her football more, coming into her fourth season of AFLW.
Brennan, 27, was elected Richmond's first AFLW captain last week. She previously led the Western Bulldogs from 2017 to 2019, the final season in conjunction with Ellie Blackburn.
"It's been incredible. I don't think I've ever had this much fun, playing football," Brennan said.
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"It's a credit to the club and the messages they tell us and the values we hold here, making sure we celebrate the moments and there's been a hell of a lot of support.
"I'm really enjoying a new role running around the midfield [and] also resting forward."
After sensationally switching clubs in May, the former marquee Dog said she's developed her leadership skills over the past few seasons, particularly when sidelined by persistent ankle injuries.
"It's a real honour and an absolute privilege (to be named captain), and something I'm really proud of. I'm equally as proud for the other girls (Christina Bernardi, Phoebe Monahan and Lauren Tesoriero) and to be able to stand side by side and be able to represent our group," Brennan said.
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"When you're forced to sit on the sideline for an extended period of time, then you learn to lead in different ways. The biggest things I've learnt is building connections with individuals within the team, but also building that connection within the group.
"We've really practiced a bit of vulnerability, opening up and making sure our girls are building connections on and off the field; sharing in great times, stories and great experiences that can deepen those connections."
Settling into her new position, Brennan said she played just a handful of minutes during Richmond's scratch match against the Western Bulldogs, but there are no injury concerns, she's just "an old girl".
"First hitout, really exciting times for the club. I played a whole of three minutes, so I pulled up pretty well," Brennan said with a laugh.
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"Just across the board, we're incredibly proud of our girls. We went in with a few girls not playing or on limited minutes, as many clubs do at this stage, but I think at times we moved the ball really, really well to our structure and we saw some really promising signs about our ball movement.
"But also, as you always do in practice matches, you pick up bits and pieces to work on and we'll address those throughout the weeks to come."
Richmond's vice-captain, hard-running forward Bernardi, said it was special to earn her position after being in Greater Western Sydney's leadership group last year.
"We went through a really thorough process of picking our leadership group. We really took our time, so I'm really honoured that it came from a player vote and we focused on what the players wanted," Bernardi said.
The Tigers will take on West Coast on Sunday in a practice match at Punt Road, with all regular-season home matches to be played at Ikon Park (and one at Bendigo).
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"It's awesome playing an interstate club for a 'praccy' match. With West Coast coming over, another new expansion team, it's a bit unknown. We won't be focusing on them too much, it'll be on us and what we can do," Bernardi said.
"Laura McClelland really stood up (against the Dogs), we chucked her in the middle as well, she can play any space. She's a brand new forward of ours, she's a big body and a young kid. 'Courters' (Courtney Wakefield) had strong hands and she's doing really well."