Season 7 AFLW preview: Geelong
LAST season can only be described as a disappointing one for Geelong. Despite not getting the wins on the board early in the season, they were showing a lot of promise and looked like a much better side compared to where they were in 2021. Unfortunately for the Cats they faded and only managed two wins for the entire season.
With a lot of list turnover in the offseason, there is a chance things will go better for Geelong in Season 7. They have the capability to climb the ladder, but the question will be whether they can bring all the pieces together to make it a reality.
Best & Fairest: Amy McDonald
Leading Goalkicker: Phoebe McWilliams
IN: Ingrid Houtsma (Richmond), Jacqueline Parry (Melbourne), Shelley Scott (Melbourne), Mikayla Bowen (West Coast) Mia Skinner (Geelong VFLW), Brooke Plummer (Northern Knights), Abbey McDonald (Calder Cannons)
OUT: Steph Williams (Richmond), Jordan Ivey (Melbourne), Phoebe McWilliams (Carlton), Millie Brown (Western Bulldogs), Olivia Barber (Collingwood), Denby Taylor (retired), Rene Caris, Madisen Maguire and Carly Remmos (all delisted)
Mikayla Bowen, Georgia Clarke, Julia Crockett-Grills, Kate Darby, Chantel Emonson, Gabbi Featherston, Zali Friswell, Olivia Fuller, Laura Gardiner, Renee Garing, Samantha Gooden, Claudia Gunjaca, Ingrid Houtsma, Annabel Johnson, Rachel Kearns, Madeline Keryk, Abbey McDonald, Amy McDonald, Meghan McDonald, Madeleine McMahon, Darcy Moloney, Nina Morrison, Jacqueline Parry, Brooke Plummer, Georgie Prespakis, Georgie Rankin, Chloe Scheer, Shelley Scott, Mia Skinner, Rebecca Webster
Round 1: vs. Richmond | GMHBA Stadium
Round 2: vs. Fremantle | Fremantle Oval
Round 3: vs. Collingwood | GMHBA Stadium
Round 4: @ North Melbourne | UTAS Stadium
Round 5: vs. St Kilda | GMHBA Stadium
Round 6: @ Western Bulldogs | Mars Stadium
Round 7: @ Essendon | Reid Oval
Round 8: vs. West Coast | Ikon Park
Round 9: @ Adelaide | Norwood Oval
Round 10: vs. Sydney | GMHBA Stadium
B: Chantel Emonson – Georgie Rankin
HB: Julia Crockett-Grills – Meghan McDonald – Madeline Keryk
C: Mikayla Bowen – Georgie Prespakis – Nina Morrison
HF: Shelley Scott – Jacqueline Parry – Chloe Scheer
F: Kate Darby – Mia Skinner
R: Olivia Fuller – Rebecca Webster – Amy McDonald
INT: Darcy Moloney – Renee Garing – Rachel Kearns – Georgia Clarke – Laura Gardiner
EMG: Ingrid Houtsma – Zali Friswell – Gabbi Featherston
Remaining players: Claudia Gunjaca Annabel Johnson, Abbey McDonald, Brooke Plummer
Inactive: Maddy McMahon, Samantha Gooden (rookie),
LEAGUE B&F CONTENDER: Meghan McDonald
The ever reliable captain Meg Mac has been a stalwart of this Geelong side since its inception, and is one of the most trustworthy and reliable defenders going around. Now defenders are not normally known for winning big awards, but McDonald’s ability to intercept the ball and rebound out of defence is sure to catch an umpire or two’s eye.
BIG YEAR FOR: Jacqueline Parry
Parry was unfortunately one of many victims of Melbourne’s list depth last season, and so found herself struggling to lock down a position in that stacked Melbourne forwardline. But now she has come across to the Cats and has a real opportunity to lock down a spot in the Geelong forward line and really make an impact on her new side. Geelong has really needed a tall strong marking target, particularly after the departure of Phoebe McWilliams and Olivia Barber, and Parry is the perfect player to fill that role.
KEY TALKING POINTS:
Do Geelong have a Plan B for when Plan A fails?
At times last season Geelong did not have a Plan B for when their Plan A of making the game ugly and contested does not work for them. All the best sides have a number of different plans for when things start to go array, so it will be fascinating to see whether Geelong have created some more back up plans this offseason.
How will their high list turnover affect their chances?
Geelong brought in seven new faces this offseason, which is about a quarter of their entire list. Now a lot of turnover can bring synergy issues particularly early in the season, so whether Geelong suffer the same fate remains to be seen.
How will Geelong’s new look forward line function?
In extension to the previous pointer, Geelong’s forwardline is very different this season, with three new faces down there. Jacqueline Parry, Shelley Scott and Mia Skinner are all proven goal kickers and can mark a ball strongly, which is something Geelong desperately need in their forwards, so expect all three to make an instant impact this season.
How will they contend with a tricky fixture?
Despite finishing third last last season, Geelong find themselves with a tricky fixture in Season 7, particularly in the front half. In the first five rounds, they face three finalists from season six plus two teams that are around the same mark as they are.
With the short nature of AFLW seasons, it is imperative that Geelong win those games against St Kilda and Richmond while stemming the bleeding in terms of margins in the other three matches if they still want to be in contention come the back end of the season.