AFLW Round 3 – Collingwood v GWS: Post-match interview with Amanda Farrugia

The Giants arrived with a point to prove on Sunday at Olympic Park Oval to take on fellow winness side, Collingwood in battle to remain alive in the 2018 AFLW Season and off the bottom of the ladder.


After a gutsy second-half performance, the Giants pulled away and came out victors, securing their first win for the season and recording their first ever win in Melbourne.


Post-match, The GWS women sang their catchy song with gusto in a tiny, packed change room full of friends and family, all keen to celebrate when Irish recruit Cora Staunton introduced everyone to a very special guest.


Former Irish track and field Olympian, Sonia O’Sullivan, came in and spoke to the team about what an impact they were having on women’s sport and how proud and inspired she was watching them develop into positive role models for young women as well as compete the way they did on the field today when their season was on the line.


Apparently, a little Irish luck in their corner was all the Giants needed to seal the win and keep hope alive in 2018.



Irish Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan speaks to the GWS Giants post match after their Round 3 win over Collingwood.
Photo: Kasey Symons



Giants captain Amanda Farrugia was pleased with the win and spoke post-match about how the side were able to bring their game plan together today.


‘I think we’ve had different pieces of the puzzle work each week but have never been able to bring it all together for one for effort so I think today we got everything right in our structure, our courage and our commitment to the contest.


We wanted to play with a bit more flair today and take those shorter kick options whereas in the previous weeks we’ve been doing more of a long kick down the line which hadn’t worked for us, so I think our composure today was much better and our structure was really what set the tone.’


A win is huge for the Giants now as they faced going into the middle of the season without any runs on the board, signalling a season over in such a short competition with no finals series or second chances. A fate Collingwood must now face.


‘It’s what you do a three month hard preseason for and it’s pretty incredible to be able to share (the win) with this wonderful group of ladies. We’ve worked really hard and we’ve toiled away and had some near misses but you can’t really talk about those, a loss is a loss no matter how they come so to have an actual win and more points that the other team is very, very nice.’


While winning today was important, Farrugia is very much aware that there is more hard work to come if her Giants want to remain competitive this season.


‘We’ll enjoy this win but when it comes to Monday, it will just be straight back to thinking about the future which is our next game against Adelaide at home. You can’t get too ahead of yourself, every game for us from now on is a must win so we’ll reassess the situation, see what we can improve on, because there are some things that we can still improve on, and hopefully that will lead to some more wins.’


Thinking about the women’s competition more broadly, Farrugia acknowledges the increase of skill level and pace in the second year of the national women’s league and knows that her side will need to maintain their competitive edge moving forward.


‘I think the professionalism and the eliteness of the entire competition has increased dramatically. The standard of football has massively increased, and that might not be something that is observable from a spectator’s point of view, but from a player’s point of view the game is faster and the nature of the game has changed.


There’s a lot more priority on outside play these days and obviously to get outside play you need good inside ball winners so hopefully we’ve got the balance right. We think we do, and hopefully it puts us in a good position going into the next few weeks, it’s going take a lot of hard work.’


Though it was an all-round team effort today to deliver the win, a few players caught the captain’s eye on the field.


‘I think Courtney Gum had a phenomenal game today, she kept us in the game with two brilliant goals and some wonderful contested marks. She’s been outstanding, especially from a girl who’s probably at the later stage of her career and has had a couple of opportunities denied to her, which you just don’t think would be the case when she’s just such a phenomenal team mate and talent.


Cora Staunton was brilliant today, her nose is rearranged on her face, she’s got a shocking broken nose but she came back on and she has no concern whatsoever for her own welfare, she just thinks all about the team. I could keep going on, I mean Phoebe McWilliams was brilliant today, but it was a real team effort and that’s what makes the win enjoyable.’


It will be a tough run for the Giants now as they enter the second half of the season but if today’s standout performers can keep at the top of their game and the luck of the Irish continues, they may be in for a chance.


About Kasey Symons

Kasey Symons a writer and PhD Candidate at Victoria University. Her research is focused on gendered issues in sports cultures (primarily AFL) at a fan level. Kasey is a born and raised Victorian who barracks for the West Coast Eagles and yes, she knows that is weird.


  1. Great to hear from Fridge. I was harsh on Staunton early on but you can’t deny her effort, to get back on with a broken nose and continually throw her body into challenges was admirable. Good team effort all round, particularly the second half.

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Splendid job for GWS. Makes the season so interesting.

  3. John Butler says

    Great work Kasey.

    Confirms that the players are feeling the faster pace we’ve been seeing.

    GWS were due a win.


  4. bring back the torp says

    Female GR AF is growing strongly in Sydney -inc. many new girls’ teams starting in the WS.

    Also, a Private Secondary Schools girls’ comp. has been established in Syd. -the intention is for this comp. to eventually include ALL the Private Secondary Schools in NSW, including country areas.

    The progress for female GR AF in sth. NSW, an AF HEARTLAND, has been very disappointing. A short, small women’s comp. has only just been established.
    AFAIK, no jnr. girls’ comp. has been established yet. Questions need to be asked re this failure. Are some people there “sabotaging” female AF, to prop up netball?

    Female AF has been established throughout virtually all country NSW -the Newcastle/Hunter region, generally barren for AF, has recently had strong regd. GR female & male growth. The BDAFL will have 16 adult female teams in 2018, quite extraordinary!

    As sthn. NSW is part of the Giants’ area & a strong Academy zone & as GWS has a stated primary responsibility to foster GR AF, it would be relevant & appropriate for GWS to publicly outline how it is trying to foster female AF in sthn. NSW.

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