K rock Football

At Selection – AFLW Round 7

HANNAH Burchell will become the 28th player used by Geelong in its inaugural AFL Women’s season when it meets the GWS Giants in Canberra on Friday night.

The midfielder is among three inclusions for the Cats, with experienced ruck Aasta O’Connor returning from a two-week suspension and young gun Sophie Van De Heuvel back after missing the loss to Fremantle with an ankle issue.

Burchell has overcome a quad injury first suffered in November to get her chance.

“Everyone was really excited for Hannah; it’s terrific she gets her opportunity,” coach Paul Hood said.

“It’s a shame, in regards to her injury, that it’s come so late, but she can give us a big boost tomorrow.

“She’s a terrific user of the footy and covers the ground so well.”

Georgie Rankin, Rene Caris and Georgia Clarke have been omitted.

“Georgie didn’t do too much wrong, but it’s a chance for us to look at Hannah,” Hood said.

“Rene Caris, as the second ruck, has been replaced by Aasta. Rene acquitted herself really well, but we need Aasta in this big game.

“Georgia Clarke has made way for Sophie. We had two defenders on the bench the last couple of games, and now we’re going to go with one and two forwards instead.

A win over the Giants will guarantee Geelong a preliminary final berth, while a loss leaves it needing Brisbane to lose to Collingwood to finish second in Conference B.

 

However, Hood is more concerned about knocking over the Giants and then worrying about what comes the Cats’ way.

“I think we just focus on the opponent ahead of us and the game that’s there every week in front of us, he said.

“Perhaps, if anything, we might have erred that way last week.

“Fremantle played great footy, and they’re a really good side. They’ve shown with their form throughout the season that they’re hard to beat.

“So, we’ll take some lessons from the way that they played and take some of that into our game this weekend.”

Anna Teague (back) and Becky Webster (ankle) remain sidelined, with Hood hoping both might be right if Geelong does finish in the top two.

“Teaguey didn’t improve as much as we would have liked this week, but did improve and is on the improve,” he said.

“Hopefully, she’s still a chance for next week.

“Becky Webster ran and trained last night … but she needs more than one session under her belt before we’re ready to pick her.

“She’ll be in contention if we’re in contention next week.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

AFL WOMEN’S ROUND 7

GWS Giants (4th Conference B) vs. Geelong (2nd Conference B)

Manuka Oval – Canberra

Friday, March 15, 7:15pm