Ally Anderson at Brisbane training.
Ally Anderson at Brisbane training.

Lions’ midfield chemistry key to AFLW success

FOLLOWING her stellar performance in the season-opener against GWS Giants, Lions star Ally Anderson believes Brisbane's midfield has the team primed for more success.

Described by Anderson as "season one all over again", the Lions' 2019 AFLW season got off to a smashing start, with a 4.5 (29) to 4.3 (27) win at Moreton Bay Sports Complex on Sunday.

Anderson collected 22 disposals for the game and was instrumental to the first-up victory.

The 22-year-old said the midfield success stemmed from good chemistry and invaluable coaching from Lions great Simon Black.

"Doing work with 'Blacky' in the midfield really helped," Anderson said.

"We were all on the same page and we really gelled well together.

"We sort of have a four-way rotation now, Jordan (Zanchetta), Nat (Exon), myself and Batesy (Emily Bates) and then the rucks obviously chopping in and out for each other.

"We felt we really bonded well and it was sort of like a small group."

Brisbane players celebrate the win over GWS in Round 1.
Brisbane players celebrate the win over GWS in Round 1.

The four-woman rotation was a stark contrast to last season's 10 to 12-player midfield rotation, with players getting significantly more time on-field and rest breaks of only two to three minutes.

The extra playing time, as Anderson admits, saw her and some of her midfield counterparts run out of legs but with some tweaking she said they are confident they can dominate this season.

"We're needing a bit of adjustment, but I think we just bonded really well," Anderson said.

"Having that sort of tight group where everyone is on the same page … we'll start to be a worry for the other teams and the other midfielders in the comp."

The Lions' reworked midfield faces another tough test this Sunday when they take on Fremantle, who beat Melbourne 9.5 (59) to 8.7 (55).

"They're a different team (to last season) and they've got some injured players that are back," Anderson said.

"They're going to be really competitive … for them to get over the top of Melbourne, we're going to have to just go into the game expecting a competition."