Premiership player. Dual All Australian. Club Best and Fairest. And now, Vice Captain.
Emily Bates’ football resume just keeps getting longer.
It’s a new opportunity for the Premiership midfielder, and one that she told the Roar Deal podcast that she’s excited to step into.
“It was awesome on Saturday to be told that I’d be Vice-Captain this year,” Bates said.
“It’s nice to get the validation from the girls that they like what I’m doing as a leader and want to see more it.
“I’m really looking forward to supporting Bre [Koenen] as Captain. She’s been on an awesome journey with her leadership and has come leaps and bounds over the years.
“And then even the four new girls coming into the Leadership group too in Ally Anderson, Cathy Svarc, Nat Grider and Sophie Conway….it’s good to have such a mix of ages and experiences in that group so that we get those different perspectives.”
With the eight-strong leadership team announcement out of the way, Bates said that the team’s full focus is on their pre-season preparation.
So much so that the yet to be announced fixture hasn’t even registered on the Vice-Captain’s radar.
“I haven’t even given the fixture a thought, we’re just in that process of constantly grinding through pre-season, it’ll come out eventually.
“I don’t think it bothers us too much, we know there’s work to be done and by Round 1, we’ll be ready for whoever it is, wherever it is.”
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An inaugural Lion, Bates has worked hard to develop a reputation as one of the competition’s most consistent midfielders over the past five seasons.
But the dual All Australian is determined to take her game up another notch in 2022.
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“I have actually come into this pre-season fitter than I’ve ever been before.
“I’m actually excited to see how that translates to my footy this year.
“I’ve always done the work every pre-season and I’m always in pretty good nick…but this year all those pre-pre-season sessions I did, I always made sure I did it with the best runners.
“Players like Sophie [Conway], with Nat [Grider], we’d always do it together so that I made sure I really pushed myself in that pre-pre-season block and that’s really translated in my running now. I’m finding myself near the front of the group as opposed to around the middle.
“We also have a new midfield Coach in Daniel Webster and he’s been honestly awesome.
“He’s just given us some new ideas and gives each of us a lot of confidence, so I’m excited to see what we can do together there too.”