Adelaide Crows linchpin Erin Phillips is urging her AFLW premiership teammates to embrace being the hunted in the looming season.
Phillips, who won the league's best and fairest award as the Crows claimed the inaugural flag last year, says repeating the feat will be difficult.
But, as they prepare for their season-opener against Brisbane Lions on Saturday night, Adelaide's co-captain says her teammates must accept the challenge of being hunted.
"I tell the girls it's a fantastic title to have and enjoy the challenge," Phillips said on Monday.
"Being the hunted just makes you be pushed that bit further so it's definitely not something to shy away from, it's something to embrace.
"Everything you have done the first year, do it 10 times harder because that is how it's going to be.
"It's harder to stay at the top of the mountain ... than it is to climb it."
Phillips was personally preparing for extra attention from opponents after her stunning feats last season; she was best afield in the grand final and won the league's best and fairest and the AFLW Players' MVP awards.
But the 32-year-old said she wouldn't be the only Crows player targeted by the opposition.
"I think targets are on everyone's back at the moment," she said.
"We are the reigning premiers and that is great but it starts back at the start line now.
"But I'm up for any challenge. If they put attention on one of us, there's other players that will get the job done."
Phillips said her recent decision to quit basketball -- a sport in which she won two WNBA titles, and an Olympic silver medal and world championship with Australia -- had paid instant dividends.
"It has been pretty unique for me because I haven't had basketball in the off-season," she said.
"So I got to spend a lot of time just working on aerobic fitness, which is something that is never easy, trying to transform from a basketball to a football.
"It has been nice to have some down time as well ... and time to freshen up."