Orla O’Dwyer will enter her fifth AFLW season as one of the senior members of a Brisbane Lions outfit gearing up for another preseason. 

“I’m definitely excited, there is a lot of excited but nervous girls around talking about it, but we know preseason, what it is like and how unpredictable it can be,” O’Dwyer said. 

“There’s always some really hard sessions and we know we may not like it while we are in them, but it will be good to get back around the girls. 

“To have a proper schedule and to get back into it with the goal of getting a premiership at the end of it is really excited.” 

With the move to the team’s new base at Brighton Homes Arena in Springfield now fully complete, O’Dwyer and her teammates are able to fully immerse themselves in what the facility has to offer. 

After the 2022 AFLW Grand Final being played at the venue, this will be the first prolonged training period the team will have had there. 

“We had a glimpse of it at the end of last year with the grand final being there but to have the facility now and everything in the one area is amazing,” she said. 

“It’s still so surreal even being around the club now the boys are in the middle of their season, so I think it’s been good with the integration of the programs and working with the staff coming across them each day too has been great. 

“It’s been fantastic and will certainly make preseason that little bit easier.” 

Brisbane had a busy off-season with the new Priority Signing Period, trade and draft. 

However, despite the off-season personnel changes, O’Dwyer feels like there is a renewed sense of opportunity for the current group of Lions. 

“We had some changes throughout the off-season losing established players like Emily (Bates), Greta (Bodey), Jesse Wardlaw and Lulu (Pullar) as well,” she said. 

“But the big thing is there is so much opportunity for change, a lot of girls are now given the chance to step up. 

“I’m really excited to see what happens, we have such a great core group, and we had a few new girls come in who have slotted in perfectly and bring some experience. 

“Ellie (Hampson) and Jade (Pregelj) from the Suns, another Irish girl coming in which is good and bringing Courtney over from basketball and adding Poppy as well. 

“I think it’s exciting to see what we can do, and I think the unexpected is what I’m most excited about.” 

Coming into her fifth season in the AFLW and closing in on 50 games, O’Dwyer is seen as leader of the team. 

The 2021 premiership player is aiming to lead by example and continue to improve on her game. 

“More in leadership, leading by example or getting around the girls more and being that leader,” she said. 

“Trying new positions and being that little bit more versatile and not as predictable as I may have been last season. 

“I think there is always room for improvement especially me being new to the game too, there’s lots of things I’m still learning each day. 

“Becoming that bit stronger and contested and go and win my own footy.”  

O’Dwyer and the rest of the Lions squad will begin their preseason training on Monday 29 May, with the 2023 AFLW Season to start in the first weekend of September.