Home » Lions women win AFLW premiership

Lions women win AFLW premiership

Daniel Bouwmeester    December 11, 2023    3 min read   

One year after moving to Springfield, the Brisbane Lions have clinched the AFL Women’s premiership for the second time, defeating the North Melbourne Kangaroos by 17 points.

The grand final game against the Roos took place at Ikon Park in Melbourne on Sunday, December 3.

The Springfield-based Lions Women’s team had ups and downs during the home-and-away season, finishing fourth on the ladder.

But a final-quarter brace from forward Dakota Davidson – who had come into the match under a serious cloud with a knee injury – carried the Lions to a 7.2 (44) to 4.3 (27) victory.

Captain Breanna Koenen was judged player of the match for her performance in the grand final.

While on stage accepting her premiership medal, midfielder Ally Anderson signed “thank you” in Auslan to a hard-of-hearing youngster – part of the AFL Auskick program.

Last week, Anderson was also crowned the Brisbane Lions Best and Fairest, capping off a stellar season.

Images: Brisbane Lions.

Rocky road to victory

The Lions have been a successful team in the AFLW, reaching the finals in six of the first seven seasons – narrowly losing grand finals in 2017, 2018, and 2022 – and winning for the first time in 2021.

It wasn’t smooth sailing through the 2023 season, though.

An at-home loss to Richmond in round one was a less than ideal start, but some wins followed, including a narrow win against the Roos in round four.

They faltered against Collingwood – at home, once again – won impressively against the then-undefeated Adelaide, then weathered their biggest loss in over two years to St Kilda in round nine.

“It was obviously a tough year – different players and working out the team, where players are, their best spots, and that was hard,” Brisbane midfield coach Daniel Webster said.

But their victory against North Melbourne in round ten was a turning point for the team, winning every match since.

“We had to [adapt],” Brisbane forward line coach Phil Lovett said.

“Not just today, but through the whole year. They’re all amazing. They all had their own journey and played their role throughout the year.”

Springfield home

This season was the Brisbane Lions Women’s first full year calling Springfield home, making regular use of the state-of-the-art training facilities at the new Brighton Homes Arena.

Since the 2022 grand final match, the Lions Women’s team has played all its home AFLW matches on the new Michael Voss Oval at the arena.

The 10,000-capacity main oval – named after the Brisbane Lions player and 1996 Brownlow Medalist Michael Voss – is a special tribute to one of the most successful and influential AFL players of all time.

The success of the team in 2023 is a testament to the benefits of the venue – game losses on their home turf notwithstanding.

Located just metres from the Springfield Central railway station, the stadium is conveniently accessible to the wider community and begins a new era for elite sport across the region.

See also: New multicultural centre arrives at Lions Arena

New multicultural centre arrives at Lions Arena

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.