Forget last season, Katie and the Tigers are playing for keeps
Richmond defender Phoebe Monahan says the Tigers are right behind captain Katie Brennan as they strive to turn around a tough inaugural AFLW season.
Brennan was announced as skipper for a second-straight year last week and is fit and ready to lead the Tigers out for their Round 1 clash against Brisbane Lions on Sunday.
However, Monahan said there was no question that Brennan had the backing of the playing group.
"There didn't really need to be a vote for the captaincy this year because we all just look to Katie in that position," Monahan said.
"She's just a natural leader among the group and she's got good connections with all the players. Whenever she speaks we listen and we all take in what she says.
"She's looking really fit and super quick. She's beaten me a couple of times in some one-on-one drills, but that's what we want."
Richmond went winless from its six matches last year before the AFLW season was cut short due to COVID-19.
Midfield struggles meant Monahan saw plenty of the ball in defence as she averaged 17.2 disposals a game in a breakout campaign to finish second in the club's best and fairest count.
But the 27-year-old is hoping the ball spends less time in the backline this year and the Tigers can get some more goals on the board in attack.
"I'm just hoping our experience and development shows across the ground this year and the ball stays forward of centre a bit more," Monahan said.
"But I was happy to be at Richmond last year and really felt valued among the team and I think that I was able to show that through my footy."
Tickets for Richmond's season-opener against the Lions at the Swinburne Centre were sold out within two hours of going on sale on Monday.
AFLW FANS VOTING WITH THEIR WALLETS
Richmond's AFLW Round 1 clash at Punt Road Oval sold out on Monday, just over an hour after going on sale.
Tickets went on sale at 10am, with all available 1300 tickets snapped up in an hour.
The Swinburne Centre will be at 50 per cent capacity for Sunday's clash between the Tigers and Brisbane because of COVID-19 restrictions.
As of Monday night, almost half of the available 7500 tickets for Thursday night's Collingwood and Carlton season opener at Ikon Park had been sold.
Collingwood AFLW co-captain Steph Chiocci said on Monday she was buoyed by the early sales.
"I've heard tickets have been just flying out the door so hopefully we'll get a lot of people," she said.
"I had no doubt that people would pay to come and see us play.
"We obviously love what we do and we're really passionate supporters, for me it was a no-brainer to make it a ticketed event.
"I think you see today that Brisbane and Richmond's game sold out within an hour, so if that's not telling us good things about women's football then I don't know what is.
"I'm pretty pumped to be opening the season in a ticketed match at Ikon Park, where it all began."
For Friday night's clash between St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs at Moorabbin, about 1800 of the 3800 available tickets have been snapped up.
Geelong's capacity for Sunday's game at GMHBA Stadium is 12,400 with early ticket sales sluggish on Monday.
There are also plenty of tickets still available for Gold Coast's clash with Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
Tickets to West Coast Eagles' clash with Adelaide and Fremantle's meeting with GWS Giants will go on sale on Wednesday.
AFLW tickets cost $10 per adult and they're free for children under the age of 18.
Tickets must be pre-bought with no tickets available at the gate at any of the matches.
Originally published as Forget last season, Katie and the Tigers are playing for keeps