Reigning Essendon VFLW best and fairest Georgia Nanscawen believes a coronavirus-interrupted 2020 has helped motivate the players for 2021.
After holding much excitement and anticipation for their third VFLW season in 2020, the Bombers endured the disappointment of a cancelled competition, an emotion which would have been reciprocated by many other teams.
While some may think a disrupted year possibly hindered the development and cohesiveness of the team, Nanscawen thinks the opposite has occurred.
The 28-year-old midfielder said while the initial reaction to a cancelled season was disconcerting, the players had rebounded and used the time to garner improved motivation and determination to succeed.
“There was a lot of excitement around the group and getting into the season, so for it to not eventuate was pretty disappointing,” Nanscawen said.
“Everyone has come back in very good shape and I think because the VFLW season is early next year (February), it’s great because we don’t have to wait too long to get out there.
“In the end, it might be a bit of a blessing for anyone that might’ve been a little bit tired (because) I think it’s re-energised everybody and made people appreciate how nice it is to be with the team and back with the group we enjoy being with.”
Despite an interrupted 2020, the VFLW Bombers are set to retain much of their 2019 list in a show of unity and stability.
They’ll again be guided by Brendan Major in the head coach’s third season at the helm, while former North Melbourne defender Gavin Urquhart has joined Major’s panel of assistants as the Bombers push for their first VFLW finals berth.
Buoying the team’s excitement is the near completion of the NEC Hangar’s expansion which will house world-class women’s football facilities for the VFLW and potential AFLW sides.
Nanscawen said the faith and optimism among the players combined with the competitive edge of a facility they’re about to utilise would provide the perfect platform for next season and beyond.
“Everyone really believes in what we’re building here,” Nanscawen said.
“We have a lot of faith in each other as players but as coaches as well. I think the addition of Gavin (Urquhart) and a few other faces is really good.
“From the outside it (new facilities) looks exceptional, and it looks like it’ll be a world-class facility particularly for women.
“We really are so lucky to have that here and it shows that we’re keen (to have an AFLW licence) and that women’s football is being invested into at Essendon and that we’re ready for whenever that happens.”
This year’s VFLW fixtures are set to be released soon, with the season due to start in late February.