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Parkin inspires AFLW team

Nic Negrepontis, AFL Media  November 24, 2016 3:06 PM

Lauren Arnell talks first session Lauren Arnell fronted the media at Ikon Park this afternoon ahead of the first training session for the Carlton AFLW team.

A pre-training talk from coaching legend David Parkin has set the tone for Carlton's first official run together.

The Blues' AFL Women's squad heard from Parkin – a three-time Carlton premiership coach – and the Club's inaugural women's coach Damien Keeping before hitting the track at Ikon Park on Wednesday night.

"There's a really great vibe among the group and I know after (the first run) that'll only get better,"  priority selection Lauren Arnell said before the session, held in cold conditions in front of about 50 fans.

Check out the Carlton women's team hub

Arnell, 29, has more than a decade of experience with dominant VFL Women's competition club Darebin – including eight premierships – and is looking forward to playing with her new and mostly younger teammates.

"I've been at the same club for 12 years, so to have a fresh group of faces (and the chance) to influence each other is really exciting," Arnell said.

"It feels like the first day of school."

 

The Blues' 27-player squad also got its first look at brand new training facilities, which have been partly subsidised by donations from fans.

Arnell said the rooms were a major step up from what she was used to at local level.

"It really is an elite facility, which we feel is the best of all the women's teams in the competition," she said.

The inside midfielder represented the Western Bulldogs against Melbourne in the AFL Women's All-Stars game in September, gathering 11 disposals alongside her now-Carlton teammates Bianca Jakobsson and Darcy Vescio.

The AFL Women's competition is set to begin in the first week of February, and Arnell believes the club has enough time to prepare for the intense seven-round season.

"We have a week of training coming up and a solid block of four to five weeks before Christmas, when we'll be able to settle on our game-plan, education and everything we need to do fitness-wise," she said.

Arnell, a qualified phys-ed teacher, works for AFL Victoria running a program encouraging women to get fit.

She said once the initial buzz of the first training session subsided, it would be business as usual.

"We're just trying to take a little bit of the excitement away and have reality settle in."