K rock Football

Leap of faith takes another step

Geelong VFLW star Renee Garing. (Marcel Berens Sports Photography Image/Marcel Berens)

WHEN Renee Garing took to the artificial turf of Deakin University’s Elite Sports Precinct in mid-November 2016, the local netball star thought her flirtation with football would be brief.

The then 27-year-old was among 150 hopefuls hoping to impress at Geelong’s inaugural talent identification day ahead of their entry into the VFLW competition.

Fast-forward 18 months, and the three-time GFL A grade best-and-fairest has unveiled as one of the Cats’ first 10 AFLW signings.

“I didn’t think at that first trial that I had any chance of making the initial squad, let alone improve this much in a year and be any chance of getting named in the AFLW (squad),” Garing, who is vice-captain of the Cats’ VFLW team, told krockfootball.com.au.

The midfielder has taken to footy like a duck to water, with her willingness to learn and work hard resulting in substantial improvement.

“Use of the ball, in terms of kicking, and efficiency and handballing and moving the ball on,” Garing said.

“(But) I think there’s still heaps of improvement.

“I’ve got to work on actually getting the ball out of a pack and feeling confident to run with it, and move the ball forward a bit more than I still do now.

“But I know where I need to be, in terms of getting to a stoppage. I feel comfortable to get there, but sometimes I should run rather than give the hands off straight away.”

Garing hasn’t been afraid to pick the brain of coach Paul Hood, other members of Geelong’s coaching staff or teammates.

“Hoody is one that I’ll ask particularly in terms of midfield stuff, and David Morgan in terms of what I’m doing in the midfield,” she said.

“But each of the girls, in particular in the midfield like ‘Rocky’ (Richelle Cranston) and Hayley Trevean – the girls that have been around football for a long time – they’re really helpful in the football side of things.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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