NORTH Melbourne's new-found fitness base will allow it to play 'forward first' football in 2021, according to midfield gun Ellie Gavalas.
In a scary message to their NAB AFL Women's premiership rivals, the Roos smashed Geelong by 62 points last Sunday, generating 16 scoring shots from just 27 inside 50s.
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Gavalas, who played through the midfield and wing, was instrumental in the dominant display, pushing forward to kick three goals from 19 disposals.
"With the game style we're playing this year we're wanting to have our mids run around the ground a fair bit and that includes pushing forward when we can," the Tasmanian told womens.afl.
"A big thing (over pre-season) to be able to run like that was that you have to actually do the work to get fit.
"As a team we've worked really hard on the off-season on 'forward first' type of footy and that includes running hard.
"All of our fitness levels have gone up which is good.
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"Last year I was in relatively good shape, but definitely one of my goals coming into 2021 was to build on that fitness from last year.
"I did some more running than I did the year before. In the off-season during COVID we were limited with what we could do but we were able to run so I tried to make the most of the hour of exercise we got."
Gavalas, who moved to the mainland seven years ago, was taken with pick No.10 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft and is afforded a generous split in her work as a physio during the AFLW season.
"I work full-time during the year and I go part-time (four days) during the footy season and I'm very lucky to have a very supportive boss who looks after me very well," she said.
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The Roos' attack-first game style sets up a mouth-watering clash with St Kilda at Arden Street on Sunday afternoon.
While many of her friends and family are eagerly awaiting the schedule of Roos home games on the Apple Isle, Gavalas' parents will be in attendance, venturing to every match when not obstructed by COVID-19.
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