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AFLW premiership glory for West great

Wednesday, 21st April, 2021

By Peter Argent

After a 13-year career as a AFL player with both West Coast and the Brisbane Lions, last Saturday Brent Staker finally got to feel the euphoria of premiership success as a coach.
He was a part of the coaching staff, that engineered a brilliant Brisbane AFL Women’s victory over the Crows at Adelaide Oval, last Saturday afternoon, April 17, on Grand Final day.
Going into the game as distinct underdogs, the Lions played with more intent and aggression than their hosts, but led by only five points at the long interval.
After an outstanding third quarter, the Lions set up the victory and would run out victors by 18 points, 6.2 (38) to 3.2 (20) sparking riotous celebrates.
“It is a wonderful feeling, and certainly one of the highlights of my football life,” Staker said post game.
“My mum, Rosemary and dad, Allen (known in the Broken Hill community as Badger) were in the crowd, with all the Brisbane supporters, at the northern scoreboard end goals area.  
“It was great that the girls went up to the goal square with their premiership medals and the cup, to show they appreciation.”  
Staker has been an assistant to senior coach Craig Starcevich, looking after the defence, which played such a key role in the triumph over the favourites on Grand Final day.
With the AFLW now in its fifth season Brisbane was playing in its third Grand Final, after losses to year one to the Crows and year two to the Western Bulldogs.
In both of these season deciding losses, the Lions endured the agony of defeat by a goal.
Brent is the son of a West Broken Hill legend, “Badger” Staker, a 300-plus game, four-time best and fairest at Wests.
Brent himself played 160 AFL games (110 games with West Coast and 50 games with Brisbane) across 13 seasons at the top level of the game, after being initially being drafted to the Eagles with pick number 37 in the 2002 AFL National Draft.
Previous to that he made A Grade debut in Broken Hill Football League back in 2000 at age 16 for the West Robins.
Eloise “EJ” Jones, a premiership player with the Crows in 2019, also played in this contest, for the bridesmaids, enduring the agony of Grand Final defeat this year.
The smooth moving talent started on the wing for Adelaide and was a solid performer in this contest.
She finished with 11 disposals, including nine kicks, and laid a pair of tackles, along with kicking her team’s third goal.

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