K rock Football

AFL unveils help for Cats

Geelong will meet Carlton in Round 6 of the AFLW season. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG will have three picks inside the AFLW draft top 10 after being granted priority selections and access to mature-age talent in the local region as part of special assistance announced by the AFL.

The Cats, who farewelled coach Paul Hood during the week, are among five AFLW clubs to be granted help, along with Gold Coast, West Coast, Richmond and St Kilda.

Geelong, which already held pick two after finishing 13th with just one win in 2021, has received two additional picks after the sixth and eighth selections in the first round.

It means the Cats will have three of the first five picks in Victoria.

“The AFL has been outstanding in understanding the unique position we are in with regard to our women’s program,” Geelong CEO Brian Cook said.

“We have had numerous discussions with the AFL and we are pleased that they have been open-minded.

“It is important for the game that all clubs field competitive teams to ensure the games are attractive for players, supporters and fans.

“We can now plan for the upcoming draft and player movement period with certainty and look forward to making progress in the coming seasons.”

The club will also have access to two mature-age players from the AFL Barwon competition before the 2021 AFLW draft.

However, the priority selections are based on the Cats not being able to trade their first five selections.

At this stage, Geelong has room for four players on its list following the retirement of Aasta O’Connor and the delisting of Maddy Boyd, Mia Skinner and Nicole Garner.

There is also speculation 2020 best-and-fairest Olivia Purcell is keen to join a Melbourne-based club, with the Demons her likely new home.

Twitter: @tom_king