K rock Football

Two originals depart Cats

Delisted Geelong defender Anna Teague. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

INAUGURAL Geelong AFLW duo Anna Teague and Cassie Blakeway are among three players to depart the club.

Teague and Blakeway, who both played in the Cats’ first AFLW match against Collingwood last year, have been joined 2019 draftee Gemma Wright leaving GMHBA Stadium.

Wright was rarely sighted at the club after walking away from the game for personal reasons.

Teague, who played at WNBL level with Bendigo and captained Geelong’s SEABL team during an impressive basketball career, impressed enough at VFLW level with the Cats in 2017 to earn a spot on Melbourne’s list.

After four matches with the Demons, she was one of the first signings for Geelong ahead of its AFLW debut and went on to play nine games in two injury-interrupted seasons.

Teague, who will retire from the game, also featured in the Cats’ run to the VFLW grand final.

“I am under no illusions about my body and the challenges of getting myself up for training and for games at AFLW level,” the 32-year-old said.

“In talking to Paul Hood and Ben Waller, it became clear that my body’s lack of durability meant my time as a player has come to an end. Whilst that is difficult to hear, I understand the reality of the situation.”

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Teague says she will take away happy memories of her time in the game.

“My teammates are a huge part of why I loved my time in footy so much,” she said. I wish them all the best and have my fingers crossed that all will go to plan for AFLW in 2021.

“One great thing that I have learnt is the privileged position we are in to play the game at the highest level.

“It is also true that the team is only strong if everyone works together, so make sure you all take care of each other!”

A former Victorian junior softball representative, Blakeway also played at VFLW level with Geelong, finishing runner-up in the 2017 best-and-fairest, before joining the Cats’ AFL list.

She played eight games with the Cats but managed only one appearance in this year’s COVID-19 impacted season.

“I have absolutely loved my time at the Cats, and I’m very sad to be leaving,” Blakeway said.

“However, I am excited to have the time to pursue some of my passions outside of football.”

With the retirement of former skipper Mel Hickey following the 2020 season, Geelong now has four spots to fill on its list.

The Cats hold selections 10, 20, 27 and 39 following a pick swap with Melbourne on Monday, with the Demons receiving picks 5, 35 and a fourth-round selection.

Twitter @tom_king79