RICHMOND AFLW player Rebecca Miller says it's up to players to take a common sense approach to COVID, with small sacrifices needed to be made to ensure teams and players are affected as little as possible.
Gold Coast's entire team has already been forced into quarantine after a player tested positive this week. With the Tigers playing in the season opener against St Kilda on Friday night, Wagga product Miller said the list is doing everything possible to avoid any hiccups.
"You're playing a constant game of dodgem cars down here (in Melbourne). You do have to take a common sense approach," Miller said.
"You won't go out for dinner with your mates on a Friday night as it's just not worth it, especially with the season so close. We only get ten games and you don't want to miss any.
"A couple of girls had tickets to Boxing Day (cricket Test) and decided not to go. It's those small sacrifices you have to make with a bigger goal in mind."
After going winless in their debut season in 2020, the Tigers won three games this year and are looking to build on that in 2022.
Defender Miller, 26, enters the campaign with contract security for the first time after signing a two year deal which keeps her at Punt Road until the end of the 2023 season.
She feels defeating one of the competition's heavy hitters is the next big goal to tick off for the expansion club.
"We can't rest on our laurels, we have to grow and get better again. Our coach Ryan Ferguson will steer that ship nicely and KB (skipper Katie Brennan) will sort it out on the field," Miller said.
"It's a different feeling going into a season knowing I've got the next year locked in. We'll find out if it'll help my performance or not, but it's nice to have that piece of mind and security.
"In one way the shackles are off for us, we've had our first win and we haven't really set a goal (for next year). It's a long journey as Ferg says so we have to continue to grow and get better.
"Personally, I feel when we knock off one of the top four or five teams, it will be a big moment for us. We haven't beaten a team above us on the ladder so when that happens, it will be nice."
The AFLW season begins far earlier this season to avoid the finals clashing with the opening rounds of the men's season.
Miller said players will be ready to adapt to the hotter conditions they will face through January.
She joked the Christmas pavlova got less of a workout this year as a result.
"It's a bit hard to train in the heat when you live in Melbourne, you get poor weather until about mid December," she said.
"But we had our official practice match against Geelong the week before Christmas and that was 32 or 33 degrees. It was good to play in that heat rather than waiting for round one for it to hit us.
"The nutritionists were onto us about getting the fluids up before the match. It's pretty simple stuff.
"It's a pretty good match up (against St Kilda), we're both in our third season so it should be an even game.
"We're excited to have the season opener, it's pretty bloody cool."
Fellow Wagga product Abby Morphett was picked up by GWS Giants in the draft, while Gabby Colvin has become a key part of Melbourne's set up.
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