Can this one-game Lion fill the forward void left by departed stars?

BRISBANE has lost two marquee forwards in the past three years, but coach Craig Starcevich has unearthed a diamond in the rough to fill the void.

Tayla Harris (Carlton) and Sabrina Frederick (Richmond) were two faces the fledgling Lions team of 2017 hung their hopes on - two young, contested-marking forwards who could win games off their own boot.

However, with both taking up offers from clubs in Melbourne, Starcevich turned his attention to the QWAFL to find replacements.

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Last season he exposed rangy 20-year-old Jesse Wardlaw to the big time, and in last Saturday's upset win over Adelaide, it was bullocking 21-year-old Dakota Davidson who made her debut.

And what a first-up impression she made.

Davidson's eight disposals and two marks tell only a small portion of her contribution, with her physicality and repeat efforts a big reason for the Lions' surprise victory.

She had not even picked up a Sherrin until three years ago, but after being convinced to try out for the University of Queensland, fell in love with the game.

It was last season that things really took off for the teacher aide.

"My coach approached me last year in April or May and said, 'Craig is looking at you, he's impressed with what you've been doing'," Davidson told womens.afl.

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"I didn't actually realise I was getting noticed.

"I just played my game and he obviously liked it and I got a message a couple of days later that I started Winter Series training."

Davidson then played against Gold Coast in the Winter Series and did enough to convince Starcevich she was good enough to be drafted in October.

"I never thought I'd be involved with the Lions, didn't think I was good enough," she said.

"It's been a crazy journey, one of the best experiences of my life, learning new things every day.

"I'm constantly learning and constantly bettering myself and loving the environment I'm in. It's so professional."

Davidson, who stands 180cm, describes herself as a "big hoo-ha" and says she has learnt so much about how to get the most out of herself already.

"My body is my workplace," she said.

"Depending how hard I work is how good my body is … fuel, rest, stretching it, it's all become a big thing for me.

"When I got to QWAFL I'd just kick a footy around and I'd get a sore knee because I hadn't built up any strength.

"I had to take a long hard look at myself and realise it was my one shot.

"I was very lazy in the QWAFL. I've never played footy at peak physical condition, which would be now, but I'm always improving."

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