K rock Football

Cats earn Team of the Year honours

Richelle Cranston was among three Geelong players named in the VFL Women’s Team of the Year. (krockfootball.com.au/Al Packer)

A QUINTET of Geelong stars have been recognised for their outstanding VFL and VFLW seasons at tonight’s best and fairest count in Melbourne.

The Cats had a trio named in the VFLW Team of the Year and a pair in the VFL Men’s Team of the Year, announced inside the Crown Palladium.

Geelong VFLW captain Bec Goring was chosen at full back in the VFLW side, with teammates Richelle Cranston named ruck rover and equal leading goalkicker Mia-Rae Clifford (15 goals) in a forward pocket.

It’s the second year in a row powerful midfielder Cranston has achieved the accolade.

It’s an historic week for Geelong as the Cats face Collingwood in Sunday’s preliminary final for a spot in the Grand Final.

Goring, Cranston and Clifford will be key pillars of Geelong’s inaugural AFLW squad in 2019 under coach Paul Hood.

Cranston, who turns 29 in a fortnight, previously played 13 games for Melbourne in the competition’s inaugural two seasons and Clifford made seven appearances with the Demons in 2017.

Geelong’s last two VFL best and fairest winners – captain Tom Atkins and utility James Tsitas – both earned their second selections in the Men’s Team of the Year.

Atkins was chosen as ruck rover – and also given the honour as being named captain – with Tsitas named in the back pocket.

Atkins, who made the team in 2016, was the competition’s leading tackler this season, averaging 10 a game, and was third for contested possessions, averaging 13 a match.

Tsitas, who won selection last season, and Atkins were among five Cats to play every game this year as Geelong bowed out of the premiership race in straight-sets.

Former Geelong Falcon and current Werribee midfielder Tom Gribble was picked as rover.

Young Tigers forward Josh Corbett was the winner of the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal despite playing just nine games this season.

He kicked 22 goals and was the only VFL player to earn an invite to the upcoming AFL Draft Combine.

Twitter: @GreenBradley

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