What a way to make an AFLW debut; a season-opening blockbuster, a big crowd and a nail-biting finish.

“It felt pretty good running out, pretty surreal to be honest at the start with the crowd and everything,” debutant Ellie Gavalas told The Mercury.

While Round 1 didn’t finish the way she or the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos would have hoped, it was a day Gavalas won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

“Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted but it was still an amazing experience,” she said.

Now, the focus is on bouncing back against the GWS Giants, in Gavalas’ home state.

The high expectations on the Roos’ squad after a 5-2 win-loss ledger in 2019, only driving the players' motivation. 

“We definitely embrace it, that was a goal (to win the premiership) we made together, it wasn’t just Scotty (Gowans) telling us,” Gavalas said.

“We sat down at the start of the year as a group and asked what can we achieve together, and we all made the decision that is the intention this year.

“That hasn’t changed after our loss in round one, we know if we keep doing what we have set out to do, the results will come.”