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Harford: Improved signs, but still work to do

AFLW R2: Harford post-match Daniel Harford speaks to the media after the Round 2 match against Adelaide.

SENIOR coach Daniel Harford highlighted the improved signs but mentioned the frustration of Carlton not registering its first win of the season yesterday.

The Blues pushed inaugural premiers to the limit and find themselves three goals up in the third quarter, on the back of a resolute defence and outstanding forward pressure.

However, six consecutive goals to the Crows meant Harford and the Blues were left to rue a missed opportunity, despite a “much-improved” performance.

“When you’ve got a group like this that needed a fair bit of work from last year to progress to a point where we challenged one of the best teams in the competition… It says that what we’re doing is okay,” Harford said.

“Last week, we were pretty flat about the way we played against the Kangaroos. You’ve got to make sure you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

 

“To get to the level of play we did today from last week is pleasing. Clearly you want to win this game where we put ourselves in the position to win.”

There were a number of little wins for the Blues throughout the day, with the likes of Kerryn Harrington and Jayde Van Dyk standing up in defence.

They were crucial in seeing the Blues kick out to a lead in the third term, when they outplayed the Crows to put themselves in a winning position.

“We were the better team for two and a half quarters, but you’ve got to be a four-quarter team,” Harford said.

“What we’re doing with them is all new, it’s a bit foreign to a lot of them — the way we’re trying to play. It’s going to take some time, but as we saw it was so much better than last week.

“If that linear progression continues, we’re going to be okay.”

It was a busy day for the Blues, with the Club announcing that the Liberal Nationals Government would be committing $15 million to the redevelopment of Ikon Park. It follows on from the Daniel Andrews State Government committing $20 million in 2018.

Harford said the doors that it would open and the opportunities it would open for women’s footy was something he couldn’t wait to watch unfold.

"It’s a great opportunity for the football club but also for women’s footy, to have significant investment from State and Federal Government to upgrade a facility like this,” Harford said.

“There are so many girls playing footy on the back of what’s happening out there like it was [yesterday]. It’s a fantastic investment.

“Women’s footy is the real winner. It’s not so much us, it’s the support and investment from the hierarchy which is a fantastic message to be sent, let alone an opportunity for the girls.”