GEELONG had one of the most consistent Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s seasons. The Cats only suffered one big loss during the season with the other two being respectable margins. They turned it on in the finals and made it all the way to the big stage from fourth place.
Position: 4th (Runners-up)
Round 1: Defeated Melbourne University by 39 points
Round 2: Drew with Collingwood
Round 3: Defeated Williamstown by 53 points
Round 4: Defeated Carlton by seven points
Round 5: Defeated Melbourne University by one point
Round 6: Defeated Darebin by 15 points
Round 7: Bye
Round 8: Lost against Western Bulldogs by 22 points
Round 9: Lost against NT Thunder by 65 points
Round 10: Defeated Southern Saints by 38 points
Round 11: Defeated Casey Demons by 41 points
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Defeated Richmond by 59 points
Round 14: Defeated Essendon by 45 points
Round 15: Defeated Casey Demons by 37 points
Round 16: Lost against Hawthorn by 16 points
#7 Mia-Rae Clifford
Clifford was a deserved VFLW Team of the Year member after she transformed her game this season. After previously spending time as a defender, Clifford made the forward line her own at the Cats and had a consistent season in front of the sticks. She kicked 15 goals from 17 games and topped off her solid year with a fifth place finish in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count. One of her best games came in Round 5, when she kicked two goals, gathered 20 disposals, took eight marks and laid seven tackles.
#13 Maighan Fogas
Fogas was a ball magnet throughout the year for the Cats. She was an agile player who could use the football really well, whether it was by hand or by foot. Fogas finished second in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count after a solid year in the midfield. She was a crucial player in Geelong’s one-point win over Melbourne University, racking up 23 disposals and laying eight tackles.
#24 Maddy McMahon
McMahon was a real handy player for the Cats as they were able to throw her into a variety of positions. She impressed with her versatility throughout the year and looked like a ready-made AFL Women’s player, which earned her a spot on Geelong’s list. McMahon finished third in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count after averaging 14.1 disposals, 2.7 marks and 12 hitouts per game this season. She led the way in Round 4 with 22 disposals, four marks and five tackles in the Geelong’s win over Carlton.
#30 Richelle Cranston
Cranston was a deserved winner of Geelong’s VFLW Best and Fairest, with a stellar year in the midfield. Her strength in congestion was almost unmatchable as she was able to break the lines and use her long kick to propel her side forward. Cranston was also named in the VFLW Team of the Year as she consistently racked up high numbers of disposals throughout the season, proving to be a real headache for opposition sides. She had a stellar game in Round 5, gathering 26 disposals, taking five marks and laying six tackles.
#44 Rebecca Goring
The Geelong skipper led from the front all season, matching up on key players in defence and keeping them quiet. Goring was smart with her ball use, and used it well by hand and by foot. Her run and carry out of defensive 50 was also handy, as it allowed the Cats to go forward with ease. In Round 11, Goring played a great game against Casey, racking up 18 disposals and taking seven marks.
#45 Madeline Keryk
Keryk has probably been one of the most successful mid-season recruits in the VFLW. She played 12 games for the Cats this season (including finals) and her impact was profound. Keryk’s inside work was spectacular as she was able to feed the ball out of congestion with quick hands. Her run and carry was also key as it allowed her to break the lines and use her long kick to send the Cats forward. She had a remarkable finals series, but in terms of the home and away season, she dominated in Round 11 with 19 disposals, four marks and 11 tackles.
The future is certainly looking bright for Geelong, with the Geelong Falcons TAC Cup Girls side winning the premiership, the VFLW side featuring in the Grand Final and the AFL Women’s list starting to take shape. A lot of VFLW players showed plenty of promise and a lot of players could slot into an AFL Women’s side. The Cats produced some big winning margins during the year and scraped over the line on other occasions, showing their ability to get the job done. Geelong will certainly head into the VFLW next year as one of the premiership favourites.