IN a comparably quiet night for the Cats as opposed to some past years, Geelong picked up the three players to compete its Season 7 list for AFL Women’s. Springing a surprise by being the second club to recall a past player who was previously delisted – after West Coast with Kate Bartlett – the Cats then opted to go for two top-age NAB League talents who had represented Vic Metro this year. Both out of the northern suburbs, the Metro pair can play in multiple positions, but are known for their hard running, particularly in the defensive half of the ground.
Character and work rate. Geelong picked up three players who are incredibly hard workers and willing to get their hands dirty to achieve everything they possible can. Skinner is a perfect example of a player who, through no fault of her own (injuries) was delisted after a short time at the elite level. The former Geelong Falcons forward had a huge season at VFLW level, booting 21 goals to finish equal second for the season, with 1.5 per game. Similarly, Plummer is highly regarded at the Northern Knights for her character and determination to win every one-on-one, while McDonald has played on every line, but just cracks in for each contest with a high-level of competitiveness.
WHERE THEY FIT:
It would certainly not be out of the realms of possibility for all three to crack into the side during Season 7, depending on education commitments and list fitness. Skinner is the obvious choice to return straight away in Round 1 after her outstanding season inside 50 for the Cats. She will hope for a cleaner run with injury at the top level this time around, but her form at the state league level – where she slotted goals in 12 of her 14 matches, shows her consistency and continuity throughout the year.
As for the two top-age talents, both Plummer and McDonald might not be automatic Round 1 starters, but could force their way in with impressive preseasons. Plummer will likely start in defence where she played for Vic Metro, and she is a thumping kick and someone who gains plenty of meterage. She spent most of her bottom-age year – and top-age with the Knights – on the wing, so runs as hard as anybody out there. As for McDonald, she can play inside, outside, half-back or half-forward, and just ticks a lot of boxes for her work rate and overall profile. That versatility will help given she can fill in for just about anyone.
Geelong had a relatively smooth night given the Cats only had the three selections, and have brought some great character into the club. Theoretically each of them could cover a different third, though Plummer and McDonald in particular will likely be longer-term midfielders. The Cats have a lot of good young talent coming through, and while they lost some over the off-season, also gained some, in an exciting time for those at Kardinia Park.