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Keeping proud of finish

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Carlton AFLW coach Damien Keeping has spoken highly of the way his team finished its inaugural season, following Sunday’s draw with the unbeaten Brisbane Lions at Ikon Park.

The Blues overcame an 18-point deficit late into the final term to keep their unbeaten home record intact and finish the season strongly.

“I’m really pleased with how we’ve finished the season. We started the year with a sense of freedom and we got back to that today. We loved seeing the girls cement their place of belonging out there, so we’re really proud of the group as a whole," Keeping said.

“We’re really proud of the season. The engagement and support from our players to the fans and from the fans back to the players has been outstanding. Our home games at Ikon Park have become really special in a very short period of time.”

Keeping spoke of the room for growth over the next pre-season and the impact of injuries to key players that disrupted the winning start to the inaugural season.
 

“Right through the whole season we’ve had patches that have hurt us but there's an opportunity for growth over the pre-season," he said.

"There’s a lot of improvement between now and next season, and we’re very confident we’ll get better in our skills and consistency with the style we play over four quarters as well.

“Injuries to Danielle Hardiman, Nat Exon, Natalie Plane, Sarah Last and Bri Davey over a couple weeks had a significant impact. That's a whole starting back line, but we’ve seen opportunities given to the likes of Jordan Ivey and Tahni Nestor who’ve both stepped up when called upon.”

When asked about the impact of Darcy Vescio, Keeping was full of praise for the Club’s marquee player.

“Darcy Vescio is an incredible player. She has such a profound impact from limited possession and her second half of the season defensively has impressed us just as much as her ability to hit the scoreboard," he said.

“Her work up the ground and her positioning off the ball has influenced her teammates into the game and she finds a way to impact the contest. We’re a very lucky club to have such a talented player on our list.”