Can Dees do the double? Gun recruit on THAT trade, ACL update

MELBOURNE'S AFLW side kicked off its training on Thursday night with an extra spring in its step, after president Kate Roffey addressed the group with the AFL premiership cup in tow.

The Demons' men's side broke a 57-year drought in astonishing style two weeks ago, galloping away to a 74-point win over the Western Bulldogs.

New recruit Liv Purcell said it provided extra motivation going into the NAB AFLW 2022 season.

Why Purcell left the Cats, 'hungry' Dees eye off silverware

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Gun Melbourne recruit Olivia Purcell speaks to Sarah Black about why she left Geelong, and provides an update on her comeback from an ACL injury

"It provides that ongoing energy. I know as a player – and I'm sure it's the case for many other players and staff – it makes me hungrier to want to see that flow-on effect and success in our program as well," Purcell told womens.afl.

"It was really good to see what the men did. I know I definitely enjoyed watching them this year. It's awesome for the club and we're all really proud and hopefully it flows on into our season as well."

EVERY CLUB’S LIST Your squad for the 2022 season

Purcell left Geelong during the AFLW Sign and Trade Period, having won a best and fairest at 19 and come through the talent pathways in the region.

It was a big move to make.

Olivia Purcell in action at Demons training on October 7, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"I spent a lot of my junior years with a lot of the girls, and three years at the club, so I guess it was a difficult or awkward situation, but I think that's life, not just football," Purcell said.

"It could happen at a job or anywhere, so you just have to break the news somehow. But the sun comes up tomorrow and everyone just goes on with their lives.

"[Melbourne] is super invested and committed and I know from talking to a lot of players, they've been challenged not just on the field, but off the field as a person, and I was really looking forward to that as development and growth, seeing how I can expand as a player and a person."

Purcell still lives on the surf coast and is making the commute up to Melbourne for training.

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"With the whole lockdown situation, it's just easier at the moment. I'm enjoying commuting, I've carpooled a couple of times – when it was OK to do so – and I do love my music and podcasts, so that helps," Purcell said.

"I feel like coming here, when you're enjoying training and enjoying seeing people and all the new friends you make, the drive doesn't really bother me."

LOCK IT IN AFLW season start pushed back until January

Having ruptured her right ACL in late February, Purcell is making steady progress in her rehabilitation.

While round one (weekend of January 6) is unlikely, there's hope she'll feature in the back-end of Melbourne's season.

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"I'm really grateful for the staff here, they've been amazing. The physios, the strength and conditioning, I've been pretty taken aback by it all. They've been really supportive," Purcell said.

"In terms of next year, I'm not thinking too far ahead, I've got the mindset of being present and taking it day by day, which I think has helped me.

"We’re lucky to get exemptions as elite athletes, so that's been really helpful to still be coming here (during lockdown), using the facilities and getting the attention from the strength and conditioning and the physios.

"There are a couple of girls here who have done their ACLs, but I haven't dove into that (advice) too much, I've just been trying to use the staff here as much as I can and getting to know the girls as people first."