K rock Football

Meg Mac to lead Cats

Meg McDonald in action for Geelong during the 2020 season. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

MEG McDonald’s stunning transformation from AFLW discard to one of the stars of the competition has hit another high-point after being appointed captain of Geelong for the 2021 season.

The 29-year-old defender, who was axed after just four games with the Western Bulldogs following the 2017 season, will lead a six-member leadership group.

“When people ask me my reaction (to being appointed captain), there’s the short-term history of it,” McDonald said. “Then there’s that longer journey.

“I’ve had some very important people in my life – some of whom are at this club, who’ve shown me the way and encouraged me along the way.

“That (being delisted) seems like a long time ago now. My values remain the same, it’s just development in my football, and the familiarity with my environment has developed.

“I consider myself very fortunate to have landed at this footy club.”

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McDonald, who was named in the All-Australian team, and won Geelong’s best-and-fairest and in 2019, served as vice-captain to Mel Hickey during the 2020 season.

She was informed by Cats’ AFLW boss Brett Johnson of her elevation to the top job.

“I’m very, very honoured, very, very pleased, and, ultimately, really excited,” McDonald said. “We’re a few years in now and getting a sense of what it means to be part of the Geelong Football Club.

“And our team’s growing and evolving and learning from and with each other, and having a stronger sense of who we are.

“And being asked to lead a group like that is very special, and it’s made so by the people in it.

“To think that I might help lead it, but also in some way represent it and reflect it, makes it special.”

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Jordy Ivey will be McDonald’s deputy, with Aasta O’Connor, Renee Garing, Maddy Keryk and Nina Morrison rounding out the leadership group.

Ivery, O’Connor and Garing have been retained, with Keryk and Morrison included for the first time.

“‘Johnno’ (Johnson) said early in the process that they were looking at expanding the group, and I think that it’s vital the leadership group reflects our broader playing group,” McDonald said.

“We still have a critical mass of core players who are 21 or under. Nina and Maddy will be vital in that representation.

“They’ve both had challenges in their footy journeys, so, to emerge as esteemed by their teammates and as people who can contribute beyond their own performance is a credit to them.”

Twitter: @tom_king79