Brisbane Lions AFLW captain Bre Koenen will lead her team out in Saturday’s Qualifying final against Adelaide in her 75th game as Lion.
Koenen becomes the third Lion in as many weeks to reach the milestone, following Ally Anderson and AFLW senior coach Craig Starcevich in Rounds 9 and 10 respectively.
Starcevich reminisced on one of the first occasions watching Koenen play, prior to her selection on the Lions squad for the 2017 AFLW Season.
“The one thing that struck me watching Bre play at QAFLW level was how she read the play, how good she was overhead and how instinctively she would roll of half-back and set the game up,” he said.
“Bre came through the system at a time when the women’s pathway was in its early days and it is a testament to her drive and determination to see her reach 75 games this weekend.
“It has been a joy to coach Bre for the past seven years and I=we’ve been lucky enough to watch her grow as not only a footballer but a person and a leader of our footy club.”
A decorated career to date, Koenen has been a pillar in Brisbane’s defence since her debut in Round 1 of the inaugural AFLW season in 2017.
Following a premiership in 2021, Koenen was elevated to captain prior to Season six in 2022.
The ever-reliable defender, in her first season at the helm led the Lions to a Preliminary Final and backed it up in Season Seven, leading Brisbane all the way to the Grand Final before going down to Melbourne on both occasions.
In her second season as captain, Koenen shone, capping off a stellar year after being selected in the All-Australian team as vice-captain.
Growing up on Magnetic Island in Far North Queensland, Koenen played her junior footy with the boys for the Magnetic Island Magpies until she was 13.
Koenen would then travel across to the mainland to Townsville and Cairns to play in women’s competitions until moving to Brisbane to study Physiotherapy in 2014.
Playing for the University of Queensland once settled in Brisbane, Koenen was selected in the Lions Inaugural AFLW squad ahead of the 2017 season.