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Catch-up time: The AFLW news you may have missed

Former Demon Pat McKenna will take charge of the club's AFLW backline in 2019 - AFLW
Former Demon Pat McKenna will take charge of the club's AFLW backline in 2019

WITH pre-season training having started for AFLW clubs this week, coaching panels around the country have been finalised.

And there's been some promising news out of the west for one of Fremantle's highly regarded players.

From the field to the coach's box

Former Melbourne defender Pat McKenna will take charge of the club's AFLW backline for 2019.

McKenna, 22, suffered a series of debilitating hamstring injuries in his two years at the Demons after crossing from GWS and wasn't offered a contract for the 2019 AFL season.

"Having someone of Pat's quality join our coaching team, straight out of the AFL system, will be invaluable for our AFLW playing group," Melbourne manager of football operations and AFLW Daniel McPherson told melbournefc.com.au.

"The girls will learn a lot about the fundamentals of the game from Pat, and I am sure they will thoroughly enjoy working with him."

Sam Radford (midfield coach) and Peter Mercoulia (forwards coach) will be alongside senior coach Mick Stinear for a third year, with Jane Lange, Jon Stinear and Justin Crough as development coaches.

A familiar face returns

Carlton has finalised its AFLW coaching panel to work under new senior coach Daniel Harford, with former fan favourite Brad Fisher returning as assistant coach.

Fisher, who played 99 games for the club between 2003 and 2010, is a level 2 qualified coach and has been West Adelaide's performance manager in the SANFL for two years.

He is currently the head of alumni at the AFLPA and will take charge of the forward line.

VFLW coach Shannon McFerran will remain with the club over summer, the 10-time All Australian (who played primarily with the VFLW club now known as VU Western Spurs) working as senior assistant and midfield coach.

Former Port Adelaide midfielder Steven Salopek, who has worked alongside Harford at VAFA side St Kevin's, is the club's new backline coach.

The Blues have also appointed Adam Dancey (Western Australia state academy head coach of female programs) as skill acquisition and development coach and Julia Cheira (Darebin VFLW premiership player and social worker) as player welfare manager.

The return of 'Turbo' 

Fremantle marquee player Kiara Bowers has taken a significant step forward in her recovery from knee injuries (including a reconstruction) which has seen her sidelined for over two years, winning the Dockers' 2km time trial on Wednesday nigh

Bowers last played football in August 2016 after being announced as a marquee signing by the Dockers in July of that year.

The 26-year-old, known as "Turbo", still has other tests to pass on her way to her AFLW debut, but the result is a step in the right direction.

"I was pretty impressed with myself after having so long out," Bowers told fremantlefc.com.au.

"I'm so happy it's over now and we can get into the footy stuff. This year (I feel) a bit closer (to playing). I'm pretty much there, there's one box to tick off so I'm hoping to run out in the guernsey this year."

Bowers won the time trial from 2018 best and fairest Dana Hooker and pacy midfielder Steph Cain, with captain Kara Donnellan and draftee Philipa Seth rounding out the top five.

Magpie coaching changes

Despite senior assistant Daniel Harford taking the head job at Carlton, there have been only a few changes to Collingwood's coaching panel for the 2019 AFLW season.

Current AFL player Lynden Dunn will once again work with the club's AFLW side, specifically the midfield group, with Matthew Jones running the forward line for a second year running.

Chloe McMillan will be the backline coach, with Lachlan Harris and VFLW coach Penny Cula-Reid on board as development coaches.