PREVIEW | 2024 CTLG Round 1 – Geelong Falcons vs. GWV Rebels

A SPECIAL standalone match will make history between the Geelong Falcons and Greater Western Victoria (GWV Rebels) tonight, as the sides grace the hallowed turf of GMHBA Stadium in Geelong for the first time. Playing under lights with the match to kick off from 5pm, both sides are ready to kick off 2024 on the right note.


Both these sides made finals, with the Geelong Falcons reaching a preliminary final before ultimately going down to Eastern Ranges at Shepley Oval. The GWV Rebels secured a spot in the post-season series as well despite finishing outside the top eight – Country division – but bowed out to a red-hot Dandenong Stingrays in the first week, missing eventual pick two in that game, Jessica Rentsch.


Geelong Falcons:

#7 Sara Howley (Midfielder)
29/01/2006 | 173cm

All eyes will be on the reigning Rookie Me Central Medallist and Coates Talent League Best and Fairest winner as she returns for her top-age season. Having won back-to-back Geelong Falcons club best and fairests as well, her VC is already enormous. Boasting elite speed and evasion, Howley practically brings her own ball to the game, and on a large ground like GMHBA Stadium, should have a field day.

#8 Mekah Morrissy (Wing)
16/01/2006 | 159cm

She might not be tall, but Morrissy has put in a power of work over the last couple of seasons and is one of the most consistent wingers in the competition. Tipped to also spend time on the inside, the Geelong Falcons skipper will lead by example, and after finishing second in the yo-yo test at the Coates Talent League Preseason Testing Day, expect her to be able to work over her opponents.

#22 Kiara Woods (Ruck)
27/11/2006 | 182cm

Limited to just four games last season after nine in her double bottom-age season, Woods is a highly developable prospect. She has a nice leap and can find the ball around the ground. With GWV Rebels boasting a couple of top-end talls, being able to have a marking target to kick to will be important for the Falcons.

GWV Rebels:

#15 Millie Lang (Defender)
06/11/2006 | 177cm

It has been a whirlwind 18 months for the now top-ager who was one of the most consistent defenders in last year’s competition. Boasting outstanding hands and an ability to be in the right spots at the right time to intercept, Lang will be a thorn in many opposition’s sides trying to get through to score. That starts with Geelong tonight. Watch for her deadly, booming left foot kick.

#17 Claire Mahony (Forward)
21/06/2006 | 181cm

Up the other end of the field to Lang, Mahony bears similar traits with her aerial ability and sublime kicking. Reliable on goal, once she can get a sniff, the opposition is in for a bad time. Even when the game is not going her way, Mahony works up the ground and gets involved wherever she can and is an astute learner of the sport. Has enormous potential for growth in her top-age year.

#4 Elise Cook (Midfielder)
28/01/2006 | 170cm

In the absence of the drafted Rentsch, as well as Molly Walton (VFLW) and currently out Brook Ward, Cook steps up as the one to watch through the Rebels’ midfield. She is one who has terrific clean hands, works hard and finds her own ball. Not a massive accumulator, but her defensive pressure is superb and is a good size at 170cm to play a key role in that midfield this season.


Geelong Falcons have some terrific depth in their ranks, with the naturally gifted Lucy Marescuk and Caitlin Charles, while forward Seisia White is a Victorian Country hub member and put in a stack of work to be one of the more important players last season. Rebecca Clottey has pace to burn and is another who can only get better after three games last season, while bottom-agers Stella Huxtable and Brisbane father-daughter prospect Meg Lappin (daughter of 279-gamer and triple premiership player Nigel, one of two twins on the list with sister Ally) are others to watch.

For the Rebels, hard-running Isabella Davies is a player who can slot in anywhere on the field, while coach Sally Riley has big wraps on top-age talent Scarlett O’Donnell. GWV’s bottom-age crop is exciting, headlined by Maggie Johnstone and Jovie Skewes-Clinton, while Ruby Thomas came in and booted two goals from an eye-catching performance on debut against Bendigo Pioneers last year. She is earmarked as a player who will benefit from more match time.


The first match of the season makes it really hard to try and pick a winner, but at home in Geelong and given the relative seasons last year, the Falcons get the tip. The midfield is just outstanding, and while Lang and Mahony might pose some problems for the home team, Geelong has plenty of depth and could adopt a running game to play to their strengths and use the space on the GMHBA Stadium wings.

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