Orla O'Dwyer is already a premiership player and All-Australian, but Brisbane's Irish star knew she had to find another gear heading into the current season.

After picking up a Sherrin for the first time less than four years ago, O'Dwyer has made rapid strides since being recruited by the Lions in 2019.

She was an integral member of the club's 2021 flag, made history as the first Irishwoman to be named All-Australian in season six and continued to flourish on a wing as Brisbane reached the season seven Grand Final.

But unlike previous off-seasons where O'Dwyer has returned to her homeland for an extended period to play hurling and Gaelic football, this year was different.

"I really wanted to focus on AFLW, so I came back out a bit earlier, in February, and hit the ground running," she said.

"I really wanted to work on my kicking and be more consistent. I worked on it a lot.

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"The main thing is just getting a footy in your hands. When you do running, or come to the club, make sure you can get in 20, 30, 40 kicks when you can.

"Over the past couple of seasons, I can see that escalate. It's just about practising and getting the girls around to help me."

O'Dwyer is one of the best athletes on Brisbane's list, lowering her club record 2km time trial by 20 seconds during the pre-season.

She is also powerful and can run contest to contest, helping the run-and-gun Lions with her ability to outnumber opponents around the ball. And the ever-improving left foot has penetration that helps get the ball deep inside 50, quickly.

O'Dwyer has now played 44 games, kicking 13 goals, and although just 25 years of age, is slowly climbing the leadership ranks.

"I think I have a bit more of an understanding of the game now," she said.

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"My first few seasons I was probably more of a listener, whereas now I feel like I can be more of a leader on the field.

"Coming into my fifth season I think I have that bit more experience and understanding and I think my teammates see that."

O'Dwyer is fresh off 19 disposals and a goal in the last-start win over Port Adelaide and said Brisbane was desperate to get its maiden win at Brighton Homes Arena against Sydney on Sunday after losses to Melbourne in last year's Grand Final and Richmond in the opening round to christen the venue.

"That Richmond game and the Grand Final didn't go our way and they were games we could have won. It's just about getting back to what we do best … making it that fortress and playing the style we know we can play," she said.