Believe the hype: Your club's round one talking points

A NEW FAN to the NAB AFL Women's competition?

Or has it just been a really long 10 months since the last match was played?

Don't worry – we've got you covered and will have you talking like an expert during round one matches.

TICKETS ON SALE Get your seats for the NAB AFLW opening round games

ADELAIDE

The Crows are *technically* still reigning premiers (with no premier awarded when the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19), and are eager to improve after winning just two of six games last year.

Keep your eye out for high-flying defender Chelsea Randall – returning from a torn ACL – and a now-fully fit Erin Phillips, the best player in the comp at her peak. Can the star Crows dominate again?

Chelsea Randall celebrates Adelaide's 2019 AFLW premiership with fans at Adelaide Oval. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE

After a few years of losing players to other clubs, the Lions had a very stable off-season, and have added a few exciting youngsters in Zimmie Farquharson, Courtney Hodder and Indy Tahau.

Developing key forward Jesse Wardlaw set the competition alight in the early rounds of last year's season. Look for her to hit the scoreboard against the Tigers.

CARLTON

Quick catch-up: Carlton has a star forward Tayla Harris (you may have heard of her). Last time the Blues played Collingwood, her opponent Stacey Livingstone said: "You've just got to stop her in the air. That's her game. If you can do that, she's useless."

There may be fireworks on Thursday night.

Stacey Livingstone and Tayla Harris in action in 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

COLLINGWOOD

The Magpies are a young team on the rise and are keen to stamp their flag credentials. The Pies have a poor round one record, winning just one of four matches – losing two against Carlton alone. They'll be desperate to improve that record on both counts.

Also, see Carlton's entry for the Harris-Livingstone clash.

CRYSTAL BALL Check out Sarah Black's 2021 AFLW predictions

FREMANTLE

The Dockers are one of the premier teams of the competition and were undefeated for the entire 2020 season.

In fact, they last lost a home-and-away game in round four, 2019, and their last defeat at home (Fremantle Oval) was round five, 2018. There's some fun purple facts for you.

Star Docker Sabreena Duffy celebrates with fans at Fremantle Oval. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG

Dangerous midfielder Liv Purcell was one of three 19-year-olds to win their club's best and fairest last year and did so off the back of a very limited pre-season due to a shoulder injury. She's now fully fit and raring to go.

The Cats also successfully moved Maddy Keryk from the midfield to defence last year, and are planning on doing the same with new vice-captain Jordan Ivey.

GOLD COAST

The Suns made plenty of encouraging moves in their first season last year, pushing the top teams and qualifying for an expanded finals series before the season was cut short.

Look for All-Australian forward Kalinda Howarth and experienced recruit Sarah Perkins to cause havoc up forward.

GWS

A more serious entry.

It's been a very tough three months for the Giants, with forward Jacinda Barclay passing away, the team being forced to relocate – first to Albury, then Adelaide – due to COVID-19 restrictions and Irish rookie Bríd Stack fracturing a vertebra in her neck in a practice match.

The Giants and their opponents, Fremantle, will have a minute's silence before the first bounce for Barclay. GWS players will also have Barclay's jumper number of 34 featured on their guernseys this season.

GWS and Adelaide players remember Jacinda Barclay after their pre-season practice match. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

MELBOURNE

The Demons have got on the front foot and already confirmed three 18-year-olds will be playing in round one: key forward Alyssa Bannan and tough midfielders Eliza McNamara and Megan Fitzsimon.

It comes after a tumultuous off-season, where Melbourne traded out six players in order to bring in young players through the draft. The Dees have always been thereabouts in the pecking order – will they now slide or push for finals?

NORTH MELBOURNE

The Kangaroos possess the most potent and deepest midfield in the competition, able to roll at least five players through who would command a spot in any team: Emma Kearney, Jasmine Garner, Jenna Bruton, Ellie Gavalas and Ash Riddell.

Last time they played the Cats, they kicked eight straight goals to steam away after a slow start. Will history repeat?

RICHMOND

It was a winless first AFLW season for Richmond last year, meaning the Tigers have their eyes firmly fixed on singing the club song after the match for the first time. What better stage to do it than a sold-out Punt Road Oval?

Look out for No.1 draft pick Ellie McKenzie, set to nicely complement best and fairest winner Monique Conti and recruit Sarah Hosking.

Richmond's No.1 pick Ellie McKenzie at the Tigers' team photo day. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA

Check selection closely ahead of this game. If the name A. Burke is listed, we will have our first father-daughter clash, with Alice set to play against the team her father Nathan – a Saints legend – coaches, the Western Bulldogs.

It will be Alice's first AFLW game, after being drafted last year.

The Saints also have last year's leading goalkicker – the long-kicking Caitlin 'G-Train' Greiser – in their squad.

WEST COAST

The Eagles battled in their first AFLW season, just winning the one match and seriously struggling to make an impact on the scoreboard.

They've brought in dynamic midfielder Aisling McCarthy from the Western Bulldogs, and athletic Irish sisters Grace and Niamh Kelly will now be in their second season.

Unfinished Business: Aisling McCarthy

02:23 Jan 24. 2021. 12:00 PM

Irish midfielder looking to take her game to a new level at the Eagles

WESTERN BULLDOGS

This current batch of Dogs should be more accurately termed "the Pups", with 14 of the squad of 30 aged 21 or under.

Izzy Huntington starred in defence last year – named in the All-Australian team and winning the NAB AFLW Rising Star – but is looking likely to return to the forward line, where she made her name as a junior.

There's also a strong chance Nathan Burke will be coaching against daughter Alice.

Alice Burke in action at Saints training. Picture: AFL Photos