SWANS SOARING: Lismore Swans players are looking forward to another sensational season in 2018. L-R Emma Wilson, Laura Harradine, Zoe Goodsell, Tamara Hamshaw and Ally Rice-Finlayson are pumped after winning the 2017 AFL women's premiership.
SWANS SOARING: Lismore Swans players are looking forward to another sensational season in 2018. L-R Emma Wilson, Laura Harradine, Zoe Goodsell, Tamara Hamshaw and Ally Rice-Finlayson are pumped after winning the 2017 AFL women's premiership. Alison Paterson

Swans set to roar and soar for 2018

WINNING the region's inaugural Women's AFL championship doesn't mean the Lismore Swans are resting on their laurels.

When the women took out the grand final with a win of 1.7.13 to the Ballina Bombers 1.0.6., there was no doubt these players had put their hearts and bodies on the line.

But now they've had their fill of turkey and mince-pies, the players are champing at bit to get back into training next week.

Swans midfielder Emma Wilson reckons AFL offers so much more than other sports.

Wilson who won the Swans leading goal kicker, players player and captains awards this season, is clearly passionate about the game and she's keen to share her love of the sport.

She said there's no doubt the Swans have a target on their back for the 2018 season.

"There's no other sport like footy and as a team we have set a high a high bar for ourselves and with big expectations,” she said.

"But I think we can go back-to-back and show the competition what we are made of and we are really keen to knuckle down and get amongst it.”

With the Byron Bay Magpies now fielding a fourth women's AFL team into the mix, the competition for the 2018 trophy just became a lot more competitive.

But Wilson said this is a good thing.

"It's great a new team joins the competition,” she said.

"With the Byron Bay Magpies it will be exciting to have a four team competition and we are pleased to have more interest in the women's game.”

Wilson said a key factor in growing women's sport is getting media coverage and support from local business.

"We are really thrilled the The Lismore Heights Sports, Recreation and Community Club is now our main sponsor,” she said.

"Lismore Swans are a really family-environment club, our sponsor has a family-friendly environment and we want more parents and kids to get involved with us.”

Forward pocket Ally Rice-Finlayson said AFL fits in well with other sports.

"You don't have to give up you current sport to play footy”, she said.

"I'm from Roller Derby but had never played footy, some of our players play with us then run to play a game of netball in their same socks. If you've ever thought of having a go just do it.”

Centre half-back George Morris said she still plays volleyball, while Tamara Hamshaw said she's one of the players who runs to netball matches wearing her footy socks.

Half-back Laura Harradine hails from Melbourne and played women;s AFL before moving to the Northern Rivers.

Forward Zoe Goodsell said after 18 of netball, she wanted to try something different.

"I wanted to put my well-oiled netball skills into a football context,” she said.

"And I run to netball after my footy game!”

Wilson said they are always recruiting women and other sporting backgrounds are a bonus.

"Any woman of any ability is welcome to come along, join us and have a run around with the girls,” she said.

"Any aspiring aspiring girls out there, we have junior side up to 16 years and we'd love to see them come along.”



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