The Geelong Cats have named a seven person player leadership group for the 2018 VFLW season.
Bec Goring will return as captain for a second consecutive season, while Renee Garing will take up the vice-captaincy. Hayley Trevean, Richelle Cranston, Anna Teague, Kate Darby and Mia-Rae Clifford round out the group.
“It is an honour to lead this team and to work with such an exceptional group,” Goring said.
“Last season was a great first year for the club, and we are all looking at building upon that success and to continue to improve as players and as a team. We have a number of new players that are learning what it is to be a Geelong player, and we think they have fitted in well to our program.
“While there is a lot of excitement around the club’s entry to the 2019 AFLW competition, our focus now is on the VFLW season ahead. We know the competition is tougher and we will need to keep improving to challenge for a higher finish on the ladder.
“Our squad is passionate and committed and proud to wear the jumper.”
Cats’ coach Paul Hood believes the 2018 PLG is a good representation of what the club and player group value.
“We have a number of strong leaders who are all about the team and team success,” Hood said.
“Now we are in our second season we will look to build upon the strides we made last year and this group has been recognised by the players and club staff as the group to serve as our leaders.”
The Cats will open their VFLW season against Melbourne University at GMHBA Stadium on 6 May at 12:30pm.
Goring was the Cats VFLW captain in 2017, playing all 14 games. She is a key defender and previously played three seasons with Melbourne University, where she was co-captain. In addition to being an elite footballer, Goring is a talented musician, having graduated from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Goring played a key role in the club’s successful presentation to the AFL to secure an AFLW licence for the 2019 season.
Garing is a strong inside midfielder who made the conversion from netball to football in 2017. Her first season was a success, where she finished fourth in the Cats best & fairest after playing every game. One of Geelong’s premier netballers before switching to football, Garing played at state league level for Geelong and was coach at St Mary’s netball club. She is a three time GFL netball best & fairest winner. Garing is an ambassador for the club’s Just Think community program that educates young people around alcohol consumption.
Clifford is in her first season with the Cats having previously played with the St Kilda Sharks. She can play as a defender or midfielder who is strong in the contest and has a long kick. Clifford played with Melbourne in its inaugural AFLW season, playing seven times.
Cranston can play a number of roles, but spends most of her time with the Cats in the midfield. She was named in the VFLW team of the year in 2017 and has played 22 VFL games over the past two seasons. Cranston has also spent two years in the AFLW, playing 13 games with Melbourne. She has played close to a decade of football, starting in Ballarat before moving to Geelong. Cranston is talented all-around athlete, having also played gridiron.
Darby can play as a key position player, but is most likely to play forward with the Cats. Darby grew up in Macedon, and played junior football. The advent of the AFLW competition saw Darby return to the game, and she made her AFLW debut with Carlton in their first season before turning out with the Cats in the 2017 VFLW season. Darby was the Cats leading goal kicker in the 2017 VFLW season, and finished as the fifth leading goal kicker in the competition.
Teague is in just her second season of football, having made the transition from basketball. A former captain of the Geelong Supercats women’s basketball team, Teague excelled in her first season of football, placing third in the Cats best & fairest. She played all 14 VFLW games and was picked up by Melbourne as a rookie for the AFLW campaign, where she played four times. Teague plays mainly as a key defender.
Trevean returns to the Cats for a second season and enters the PLG for the first time. Trevean is an excellent stoppage player through the Cats midfield and a damaging kick. Originally from Bendigo, she has also played with the Bendigo Thunder. Trevean has enjoyed a stellar preseason after battling injury last year.