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Graves: Davey key to 2019

Hosking's team photo antics Sarah Hosking takes you behind-the-scenes to reveal some of the fun antics that occur during AFLW team photo day.

CARLTON’S AFLW side will walk taller with Brianna Davey in AFLW 3.0, according to Head of Women’s Football Nicole Graves.

Yesterday saw the countdown officially tick under a month for Carlton’s opening game against North Melbourne on Sunday 3 February.

And with preparations constantly heating up, Graves said the presence of the Club’s inaugural best and fairest winner would be crucial — for a number of reasons.

“It’s no secret that Bri is such a key player for us on the field, particularly with her leadership,” Graves said.

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“The team is just better when she’s 100 percent.”

If ever there were any doubts about Davey’s return, they were quashed recently at the team’s pre-season camp.

Having performed strongly at Ikon Park in the weeks of training beforehand, the performance from Davey - and the collective - at Queenscliff was reason for optimism.

“We had a practice game on the camp and she was playing full footy basically, there wasn’t any restriction,” Graves said.

 

“We watch her out on the track and she’s almost in full training, then on the camp we see her dragging tyres and ropes and running on sand… For Bri, it was essential."

Graves said the whole club would receive a boost from Davey representing the navy blue once again, leading Carlton from the front.

“A return from an ACL injury has both the mental and physical components, getting yourself mentally prepared to do the things you could do previously,” Graves said.

“It’s so pleasing for us, for the players who know their leaders is close to returning and especially for Bri.”