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Post-match wrap | Round 5

8:45pm  Apr 21, 2018

Bolton: Cripps was 'outstanding'

8:30pm  Apr 21, 2018

Post-match | Brendon Bolton

8:29pm  Apr 21, 2018

Post-match | Harry McKay

8:06pm  Apr 21, 2018

Hosking: We've grown in 2018

Jacob Doole, Carlton Media  March 16, 2018 3:55 PM

AFLW vice-captain Sarah Hosking says she can’t wait to see what’s next for Carlton’s young side, with one game left in what has been a tough season.

The Game Changers have faced some adversity in AFLW season No.2, with a big injury toll, coach Damien Keeping hospitalised and some tough losses in recent weeks.

But Hosking believes those hardships will make the players and the team stronger in the long run.

“There have been some really big struggles, especially with injury and Damo and a few ups and downs, and obviously we haven’t had the best season in terms of the win/loss ratio,” she said.

“I think the girls would look at it and (think) it’s been tough at the time and when it’s been happening, but I think we’ll really develop and grow from that experience. and develop from there.”

Those injury woes have opened up opportunities for some exciting youngsters throughout the year, which Hosking thinks should give Carlton fans plenty of hope.

“It’s been awesome for those girls in terms of the ones that have had less experience or the younger girls, to actually step up and get a bit of game time,” she said.

“The other night one of the coaches said that we’ve got the second-youngest list in the (competition), so it’s pretty exciting to see where we can still go with that.”

Despite Carlton’s trials this season, Hosking has flourished individually and has continued to develop as a player.

And with the added responsibility of captaining the side in Bri Davey’s absence, she says it’s been a steep learning curve all round.

“It’s been challenging but it’s definitely given me room to grow and I’m still looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead,” she said.

“That was one of my main goals individually, just making sure that I’m still developing as a player skill-wise and also my leadership side.”

Despite the Blues officially out of the premiership race and approaching the end of the second AFLW season, Hosking insists the team is raring to go ahead of their clash with Fremantle and are looking to finish the season with a bang.

“Although we’re out of the Grand Final race now, for me and for the rest of the girls it’s still very important that we make sure we finish strong and finish on a high note for the season,” she said.

“I don’t think for one second in the last four weeks since we’ve had a few losses that any of us have taken it lightly… we really want to make sure that we make the most of it and do still make our mark on the competition.”

The Blues faced a big quarter-time deficit in last week’s loss to Melbourne, but fought hard the rest of the way and kept the final score respectable.

While Hosking says the side’s fightback was promising, she knows they can’t afford to stumble out of the blocks again this week at Fremantle Oval.

“For the last three quarters we actually won the game, but they got the jump on us in that first quarter,” she said.

“One of our focuses will be making sure that we can really start strong in the first quarter and from the first bounce.”

The Game Changers will do battle for the final time this AFLW season when they face Fremantle at Fremantle Oval with a 2:05pm WST kick-off.