Sabrina Frederick-Traub will head into her second season with the Brisbane Lions AFL Women’s team driven by the memory of a premiership that almost literally slipped through her fingers in 2017.
The ex-Pinjarra local and now AFLW superstar flew for a pack mark in the dying seconds of last year’s grand final against Adelaide that would have resulted in a shot on goal potentially equaling the score, but it wasn’t to be as the ball spilled to the ground and the siren rang out.
And while Frederick-Traub won’t be wasting any time reminiscing on a forlorn trophy, the marquee Lion is using the loss as fuel on the fire heading into year two of the competition which kicks off this week.
“I think it does make you a bit more determined, knowing you came so close,” she said.
“Obviously everyone wants to win, and it’s not going to be easy getting back to the grand final, but I think it certainly drives you a bit more having missed out in such a close game.”
Frederick-Traub and her Lions won’t have to wait long for a shot at redemption in 2018, with their first game coming in the form of a grand final rematch with the Crows.
Each side is set to welcome in a batch of fresh faces with the arrival of the new season, but the ex-Peel Thunderbird said that wouldn’t affect the atmosphere.
“I guess we’ll both look a little different from last year’s grand final but there’s still going to be a lot of emotion in the game for both teams,” she said.
“Personally, I love feeling like the underdog, so to have it played in Adelaide knowing their fans will bring all the noise and atmosphere, that’s something we can feed off.”
While her team may have fallen just inches short in the inaugural season, Frederick-Traub’s individual campaign was nothing short of outstanding.
The high-leaping ruck/forward made her mark on the competition instantly, playing a crucial role in sparking the Lions’ undefeated regular season after being snatched up by the club as a priority marquee signing.
The 21-year-old was in the conversation for the league’s best and fairest award and led the Lions as the top-ranked key forward to play at least three games.
Frederick-Traub was also one of 19 AFL Women’s players ranked in the “elite” category by Champion Data.
This year she has set her sights on taking her game to a new level.
“The first year taught me a lot about the kind of player I am, and how I can better that,” she said.
“Ideally I’d like to spend a bit more time in the forward line this season – I feel like I have a lot to offer our team as a forward target.”
The AFL Women’s season gets under way this weekend, with rival franchises Carlton and Collingwood opening the season on Friday night.
Brisbane will play the Crows on Saturday.