Key defender Harris Andrews and midfielder Lauren Arnell joined Mike and Dom on the Roar Deal this week to share their thoughts on their new teammates in 2020.
Andrews, along with 20 other players, followed a men’s team tradition by taking out the new draftees for dinner at a favourite Mexican haunt in Bulimba. Senior Coach Chris Fagan even happened to walk by as they were eating.
Andrews said the 2019 NAB AFL Draftees Deven Robertson, Brock Smith, Keidean Coleman and Jaxon Prior enjoyed the night and are keen and raring to go.
“They’re fresh faced and excited,” he said.
“It’s a really good time of the year for everyone I reckon, when you get new faces in because it reinvigorates everyone.”
Now in his sixth year as a professional footballer, Andrews does remember what it was like being in their shoes.
“It’s full on, I just tried to remember all of the names,” he said.
“Not only are you meeting all the players but you’re meeting all of the staff and then staff upstairs as well. It’s pretty overwhelming.”
He was happy Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy players were picked up by other clubs but was glad to have Keidean Coleman stay at the Lions.
After missing out on a spot at the 2019 AFL Draft, Coleman had been training with the senior group for the entire season. He went on to play an integral role in the Club’s undefeated NEAFL team.
“He feels like he’s a piece of furniture with us these past 12 months,” Andrew said.
“He’s [versatile] around the ground as a forward and even off the half back line.”
Like Andrews, Arnell is excited about the 12 new players the AFLW side have welcomed into the Den and believes supporters have plenty to be excited about.
Irish recruit Orla O’Dwyer has made an impression, taking out the two kilometre time trial and creating a new record.
“She consistently applies herself and does all the extras,” Arnell said.
“She’s super impressive and a great person.”
Cathy Svarc is another one to watch.
“[She] has those athletic traits that I think our supporters will be excited by,” she said.
Although the team have returned for pre-season in great shape, Arnell emphasized they cannot get carried away.
“It is really positive with the way the girls have come back,” she said.
“Let’s not forget we’ve got opposition doing all the same things.
“We’ve got to find our edge and we’ve got to continue to build upon where we’ve started.”