'Dangerous' Blues primed for AFLW flag

Carlton are confident they can break through for a first AFLW flag after an improved 2020 campaign.
Carlton are confident they can break through for a first AFLW flag after an improved 2020 campaign.

Watch out rival AFLW teams, star Carlton forward Tayla Harris has declared the Blues are looking "dangerous".

The VFLW season and all other women's winter competitions might have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but Carlton haven't missed a beat since returning to training at Ikon Park.

Harris was adamant the Blues had "whatever we needed" during the extended layoff and were primed to build on an impressive 2020 campaign.

Carlton were set to battle North Melbourne in a preliminary final before the coronavirus pandemic ended the season in March without a premiership being awarded.

"It was a difficult and unheard of time (during isolation), they (the fitness staff) just made it work," the two-time Blues leading goalkicker said.

"I don't know how they did it, but we've come back (fit); we're dangerous.

"I wouldn't have wanted to be another team this year because we're looking pretty good."

Despite losing the experienced Sarah Hosking to wooden spooners Richmond, Carlton have added two-time All-Australian midfielder Elise O'Dea in from Melbourne during the off-season.

Recently-retired Carlton great Kade Simpson has also jumped on board as an assistant coach.

Blues coach Daniel Harford said his team wouldn't take any extra motivation out of how last season finished when they were on on the cusp of breaking through for a maiden AFLW premiership.

"It was sort of out of our hands. Had it been at our doing, then it might have been a different scenario," he said.

"But because it was such a new thing for everyone, we're all sitting there going 'what the hell's going on' like the rest of the community'."

A fixture is still at least a week away from being released, but the nine-round season is expected to get underway in early February.

Harris is confident the standard of AFLW will rise to another level in 2021, even with players going almost 12 months between any match practice.

"I play but I really love watching. Half the time I'm sitting there (on the field) like 'oh this is really good' and enjoying it as a spectator," she said.

Australian Associated Press