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'Excited for the challenge': Ally Anderson and her Lions put doubts behind them ahead of grand final

Jarred Cross -

Brisbane Lions midfielder Ally Anderson says her side comes into Sunday's AFLW grand final "determined" despite her own admission doubts had crept in about their credentials to go all the way through the home-and-away season.

The Gangulu ball magnet says her side heads to IKON Park confident with their preparations and having learnt from experience after just missing out this time last year.

Melbourne lifted the cup over the Lions on their own deck in a low-scoring wrestle to end season 7.

Anderson said they'll be using it as "fire" against an inspired North Melbourne outfit making their debut grand final appearance after getting past competition heavyweights Adelaide and the reigning premiers on their way to the decider.

Brisbane are one-from-four in grand finals, and despite edging out wins over the Crows, Demons and Roos in 2023, stumbles presented to put question marks over whether their premiership window was closing.

They opened the season with a slip up against Richmond before losses to Collingwood and St Kilda in the second half of the year.

The Tigers, Magpies and Saints all missed finals.

Brisbane are also yet to play at Princes Park this season.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't (have doubts about the season). There were a few games there where I was questioning how far we could go," Anderson told reporters on Wednesday.

"It's been up and down, but we've learned from all of it. We definitely feel like we're up there with the best. Obviously, we've made the grand final. We're very confident in our preparation and what we've done throughout the year to be able to be here and compete on the weekend."

Although they posted a narrow win over North in Tasmania early on, Anderson said "they're a different team, and we're a different team" this time around.

"We're excited for the challenge," she said.

Anderson also said distractions ahead of last season's grand final - including her AFLW best-and-fairest honour, aren't around to worry about it 2023.

"We've learned how to win those hard games, and we've learned to fight to the end. It's definitely been a really good thing this year, having those downs because it's made us stronger in the mind much more determined," she said.

"We've earned the right to be there now. And, yeah, we're just going to use all those lessons out there to take into the weekend.

A strong performance from their veteran midfielder will go a long way to dictating their chances on Sunday.

Anderson is averaging 25 disposals and six tackles and four clearances this season, picking up her second All Australian on Monday night as a result.

Gunditjmara woman Dakota Davidson slotted into full forward for her first appearance in the side after a dominant year up front.

The 24-year-old has been named a "chance" to play on Sunday after injuring her knee in Saturday's preliminary final over Geelong.

Davidson appeared distressed on the sideline after hobbling from the ground after falling awkwardly on her left knee in a tackle during the third quarter against Geelong on Saturday night. (Image: AAP)

Brisbane cleared Davidson of any "serious" injury following scans earlier this week.

Grand final tickets sold out on Tuesday, with the Lions and Kangaroos to meet at a packed IKON Park at 2:30pm Sunday, December 3.


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