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The North Melbourne Kangaroos begin their AFLW journey by welcoming the Carlton Blues to North Hobart Oval. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 1:05pm (AEDT).
The AFLW season has come around quickly yet again, but the difference this season is the competition will welcome a new team into the fold – the Kangaroos.
There is real excitement around the list the Kangaroos have been able to produce.
In fact, they have been tipped by the captains of the other sides as one of the premiership favourites, alongside 2017 premiers the Adelaide Crows.
Those expectations come on the back of recruiting ex-Pie Moana Hope and ex-Lion Kaitlyn Ashmore.
You can also not forget the reigning AFLW best-and-fairest Emma Kearney, who joins the Kangaroos from the Western Bulldogs.
When you see such names as the above at Arden Street, it is not difficult to see why many are optimistic about what the Kangaroos can achieve this season.
Despite all the external noise, coach Scott Gowans still has to get his side performing.
As for Carlton, they will be hoping for a better season than the previous. The Blues finished last, only winning two of the seven games they played.
The off-season has seen the Blues make wholesale changes in the coaching department.
There is a new coach in Daniel Harford, who has brought in women’s football expert Shannon McFerran, former Carlton forward Brad Fisher and former Port Adelaide defender Steven Salopek to assist him.
From a player’s perspective, captain Brianna Davey will need to be at her best to inspire this side to climb up the ladder, but the improvement the Blues are looking for may come from the new recruits.
Madison Prespakis, Carlton’s first draft pick, will no doubt be looking to make an immediate impact.
Chloe Dalton, who comes across from a rugby sevens background, will also be looking to perform at a level to improve the side.
The Kangaroos do enter this clash as an unknown quantity simply because they are new to the AFLW competition, but on paper they have assembled a really good side.
They will fancy themselves to have an impact on the competition, and they will begin the season with a 17-point victory over the Blues.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 1:05pm (AEDT).
When: 1:05pm (AEDT)
Where: North Hobart Oval, Hobart
TV: Fox Footy
Betting: North Melbourne Kangaroos $1.58, Carlton Blues $2.40
North Melbourne Kangaroos
B: T.Randall 16, B.Gibson 18, J.Bruton 35
HB: J.Trend 21, D.Hardiman 31, J.Duffin 27
C: E.Kearney (c) 9
HF: K.Gillespie-Jones 5, J.Garner 25, S.Abbatangelo 1
F: K.Ashmore 10, M.Hope 23, G.Nanscawen 22
Foll: E.King 60, J.Stanton 17, A.Riddell 7
I/C: A.Drennan 8, J.Grierson 19, D.Bateman 11, N.Bresnehan 12, E.Humphries 6
B: K.Harrington 9, N.Stevens 21, L.Brazzale 12
HB: J.Hosking 11, K.Bentley 13, J.Van Dyk 36
C: K.Loynes 2
HF: M.Prespakis 4, T.Harris 7, D.Vescio 3
F: T.Lucas-Rodd 18, B.Davey (c) 1, S.Hosking 10
Foll: B.Moody 16, S.Audley 26, A.Barden 8
I/C: G.Pound 6, J.Edwards 25, A.Downie 30, C.Dalton 15, N.Plane 32