K rock Football

Skinner ready for second chance

Geelong AFLW draftee Mia Skinner at GMHBA Stadium on Thursday. (Geelong Cats Image)

MIA Skinner is confident she is better prepared for an AFLW career after Geelong used its first pick in Wednesday’s draft on the talented forward.

The 21-year-old spent two injury-interrupted seasons on the Cats’ list in 2020 and 2021 before being delisted without playing a game.

However, Skinner’s form at VFLW level, especially this year where she kicked 21 goals, proved too good for the Cats to ignore.

“I think, this time, I’m more ready for the opportunity,” she said.

“Hopefully, I can go straight into the team this year and prove a point instead of being younger and inexperienced.

“I’ve played against women before, and hopefully, I can come in and make an impact straight away.”

AFLW: CATS BRING BACK SKINNER

Geelong wasn’t the only club interested, with Melbourne, North Melbourne and Richmond all making contact before the draft.

Despite that interest, Skinner was more on edge than when she was drafted in 2019.

“I was shaking; my heart was going, I was sweating,” she said.

“I was so much more nervous than last time.”

Skinner knew the Cats had never closed the door entirely on her despite letting her go early last year.

“They just wanted me to get my body right,” she said.

“The two seasons I was there, I was pretty much inactive the whole time.

“I’ve matured so much more off-field than I was here last time as a fresh 18-year-old.”

Following the off-season departure of forwards Phoebe McWilliams (Carlton) and Olivia Barber (Collingwood), the Torquay product is keen to stake her claim on a spot in the Cats’ forward line.

“With Phoebs and Barbs leaving, there’s definitely an opportunity for hopefully myself to slot into (the forward line),” Skinner said.

“Hopefully, I can fill their shoes.”

Twitter: @tom_king79