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AFLW Team: Groves-Little to debut

Tori Groves-Little ahead of debut We chat to to Tori Groves-Little ahead of her first AFLW game tomorrow

The Brisbane Lions AFL Women’s team will unearth a sixth debutant for 2019 this weekend against Fremantle.

Following Friday's final team announcement, Tori Groves-Little will become the latest Lion to don the maroon, blue and gold when the team runs out against the Dockers at Fremantle Oval. 

She will join a long list of Lions, including Lauren Arnell, Paige Parker, Lauren Bella, Jesse Wardlaw and McKenzie Dowrick, to make their club debuts this season.

“I was pretty speechless. Before Round 1, Craig [Starcevich] came up to me and said I was going to be an emergency and then he announced it in front of the group,” Groves-Little told

“This week, the first I found out about it was when he announced in front of the whole group. I was just excited to see who got named in the team.

“It was a big surprise to me. I was pretty speechless because I've been working pretty hard towards this.”

At Tuesday night’s training, Groves-Little and the remaining squad of players who didn’t feature in the game against GWS competed against the Gold Coast SUNS Academy in an AFLX practice game.

It wasn’t until Wednesday night however when Groves-Little and the rest of the playing group were informed of the team to travel to West Australia on Saturday morning.

The 18-year-old was named an emergency in the Lions’ Round 1 squad but insisted she was glad to be named within the game-day squad and said the insight learned will be beneficial for this weekend’s clash.

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“I was honoured to be a part of the team in general. As a first-year player and one of the youngest in the group, I was pretty happy with being named an emergency,” she said.

“It was a really good experience for me to feel what game day. That will hold me in really good stead heading into Round 2. I would almost prefer being picked as an emergency for Round 1.”

Taken with pick 56 in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft, Groves-Little is a versatile outside midfielder who is capable of playing in a variety of positions.

At just 17, she became a QAFLW Best and Fairest Winner in 2018 after polling three votes on four separate occasions, including in the final two rounds of the season.

Groves-Little was among a handful of Queenslanders selected in the National Academy and was among the state’s most consistent performers at the NAB AFLW U18 National Championships.

The former skipping talent has impressed Senior Coach Starcevich with her spactial awareness and ability to orchestrate scoring opportunities for her teammates. 

“We thinking adding Tori to the forward-half will help provide more opportunities on goal for the team this weekend,” Starcevich said.

“Tori’s athleticism and skills are attributes shes can use well both offensively and defensively."

For the latest updates before, during and after the match, keep an eye on the Lions AFLW Twitter and Instagram accounts.

*The game will be broadcast on Fox Footy nation-wide, Channel 7 in Perth and 7Mate in Brisbane. 

IN: Tori Groves-Little
OUT: Gabby Collingwood (Omitted)

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs