K rock Football

At Selection – AFLW Round 4

GEELONG coach Paul Hood has hailed Laura Gardiner’s competitive nature ahead of her AFLW debut.

The 18-year-old will become the Cats’ fifth debutant in the opening four rounds of the season in Friday night’s clash with St Kilda at Moorabbin.

“She turned heads in the first few pre-season training sessions with how determined she was to win the ball, how determined she was to win the contest, and she kept moving and putting her teammates under the pump,” Hood said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing some of that from her tomorrow night.”

Gardiner’s inclusion is the only change to the Geelong team that suffered a 15-point loss to the Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.

The former Geelong Falcon replaces defender Bec Goring, whose musical talents have taken precedence this weekend.

She is a support act for popular alternative musician Gordi.

“The situation, unfortunately, at AFLW level is that the players still have to work,” Hood said.

“And Bec being a professional musician has had the opportunity to take on some tour dates.

“She did everything she possibly could to make sure those tour dates didn’t clash with an AFLW game.

“We’re fully supportive of her growing her main career. Unfortunately, in this case with the late changes to the fixture means the two dates haven’t lined up the way we like.”

Meanwhile, Geelong’s uninjured non-selected players are set to line-up in the final VFLW practice match against Hawthorn at Deakin Uni on Saturday before next week’s start to the season.

Twitter: @tom_king79

AFLW ROUND 4

ST KILDA (9th) vs. GEELONG (14th)

RSEA Park – Moorabbin

Friday, February 19, 7:10pm