Alana Woodward, Aliesha Newman and Alice Mitchell after the elimination final between Sydney and Gold Coast at Heritage Bank Stadium on November 11, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY coach Scott Gowans has a simple question for his players and the AFLW community – "why not us?"

Gowans was buzzing following Saturday night's 17-point elimination final win over Gold Coast and said his Swans should have the ultimate belief heading to Adelaide next week to take on the three-time premiers.

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Although they're likely to be without forward Bec Privitelli (ankle), Gowans said the momentum of four straight victories was a powerful thing and his team would have nothing to lose.

"Confidence, belief, momentum is huge in footy," he said.

"The main message before the game was 'why not us?'

"We've stuck with that, and why not us?

"We just take the attitude that we've got nothing to lose, but we genuinely believe we can compete, so we'll dive into Adelaide and see how we go."


Gowans said the team's mantra stemmed from a collective external doubt about his team's ability following a winless debut season.

"That came from all the media not picking us to win a game and finish on the bottom," he said.

"No one tipped us this week to win. Just little things like that. We know we're going to get that next week.

"As a coach it gives you a good platform to launch off and say: 'why not us?'"


Privitelli hobbled off midway through the first quarter and although Gowans said she would need a scan, she'd be "pushing it" to be available to face the Crows.

Her absence made little difference on a night where Chloe Molloy solidified herself as the best female player Gowans has seen with three goals and young guns Sofia Hurley, Montana Ham and Brenna Tarrant all enhanced their reputations with starring performances.


Sydney laid a staggering 105 tackles to totally out-pressure the Suns, but were then able to win the ball and beat them away from the contest with uncontested possessions.

"The girls' ferocity at the contest was amazing," Gowans said.

"It's all going pretty well at the moment, but obviously next week the freight train could hit a wall, but that's alright."

His Gold Coast counterpart Cameron Joyce was philosophical about the loss, saying Sydney thoroughly deserved its win.

Joyce himself was taking over a winless team just three seasons ago and said it was important to not lose sight of the improvement despite the disappointment of a finals loss.

"Tonight's an opportunity gone begging," he said.


"Just over two years ago we hadn't won a game of footy and now we're playing in our first home final and won six-and-a-half games out of 10. That can't be underestimated.

"The reality is we need to forensically look at how we get better – me, the coaches, the staff, players, reflecting on that and then going to work."