By Ant Wingard
Weeks after being elected the new Brisbane Lions AFL Women’s captain, Leah Kaslar is ready to lead the team into the 2019 AFLW season.
Kaslar joins former skipper Emma Zielke alongside Kate Lutkins and Sam Virgo in the Lions’ leadership group and hopes to emulate the success of Zielke, who led the team in the competition’s first two seasons.
Speaking at Hickey Park on Wednesday morning, where the Lions will play their first game for premiership points in the Brisbane City Council area on February 17, Kaslar lauded her predecessor.
“Emma is a fantastic leader and probably is a smarter footballer than me,” Kaslar said.
“She hasn’t skipped a beat and is still the exact same leader that she was. We’re really lucky to have a strong group of leaders.”
Brisbane’s playing group held a vote for in December to determine the captain but despite the change from one season to the next, Kaslar was adamant nothing would alter when the side takes to the field despite a difference in leadership styles.
“I guess the differences is that I like to really motivate the group and I’m known for a bit of a pump-up speech before games,” she said.
“With Emma, I think her directional talk on the field is exceptional and she has a really good footy knowledge.”
The duo have already established themselves as two of the best Queensland players plying their trade at AFLW level after glamorous CVs at QAFLW level.
Both have played over 50 games of senior women’s football in the state and find themselves in a prestigious fraternity of QAFLW Best and Fairest winners that also includes Lions’ teammates Sam Virgo, Kate McCarthy, Jordan Zanchetta and Tori Groves-Little.
Brisbane Lions head coach Craig Starcevich said Kaslar boasted the right attributes to lead the Lions into the AFLW season.
“Leah gets the opportunity this time around which is great. She is very much about keeping people accountable and effort,” he said.
“Leah has her different set of skills that she’ll bring to the table, but Emma has done a superb job the past couple of years.”
Brisbane’s 2019 AFLW season will commence on February 3 against Greater Western Sydney at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex.
The Lions will play a practice match next weekend, January 19, against the GIANTS at Yeronga’s Leyshon Park.