Lions AFLW coach Craig Starcevich had an idea who his round one side would be after training on Wednesday night.
But it was different from the week before and the one before that.
Starcevich said the depth of talent in the squad had now reached a stage where there was genuine competition for positions right across the field.
It is a situation that gives the kind of selection headaches coaches love and sparks the internal competitiveness that can fire a team to success.
The AFL has ruled the clubs can use as many players as they chose when the Lions take on the Gold Coast Suns in a practice match on Saturday.
And with the countdown on to round one, scheduled for January 31 against Richmond, a strong performance could make Starcevich’s selection job a little easier.
“I have an idea after every session but it has changed every session,’’ he said.
“We’re five years in now and our list is very competitive and very deep and to find the side that will play round one, I couldn’t tell you what that is going to look like right now.
“And that’s very good for our group.’’
He believes the likes of Orla O’Dwyer, Nat Grider and Greta Bodey made the side the most athletic in the competition and advised Lions’ fans not to expect any major changes to the way they play their football but rather a development on a foundation laid last year.
“I thought we were tracking in the right direction last year,’’ he said.
“We play a dynamic brand of footy, we get after the opposition with plenty of pressure and we like to use it when we go forward.
“We think we’ve got some athleticism now in the group that is second to none, it is a matter of being able to put those people in the right spots and utilising their athletic traits.
“In terms of workrate, diligence and camaraderie and the sort of stuff you want from a good team, it has been top notch.’’
That attitude was proven when the side worked off their Christmas lunch with a December 28 training session, a first for Starcevich in his life in football.
So while settling on a side might currently be a challenge, he said it was reassuring to know that whoever get the call up will be fit and raring to go.
“We’re really well prepared, we had a really good block of training before Christmas and we were back really early,’’ he said.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever been involved in a footy club that trained on the 28th of December, ever, so that’s an indication of where their heads are at and how keen they are to do well this year.’’