K rock Football

Competition for spots heats up at Cats

Maddi Boyd and Stephanie Williams fly for a mark in Geelong’s practice match loss to Melbourne on Saturday. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG coach Paul Hood has admitted there will be some selection dilemmas heading into the opening round of the AFLW season.

The Cats suffered a 21-point loss to Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday in its only practice match, and with no lingering injury concerns out of the game, Hood could have 29 players to pick from ahead of the clash with North Melbourne on January 31.

“At the moment it’s looking that way, which is really good,” Hood told krockfootball.com.au. “It’s great to have just about the best availability we can get.

“That means everyone’s got to continue to work really hard on their game to get selected, so that’s a real positive.”

All five of Geelong’s 2020 draftees – Darcy Moloney, Laura Gardiner, Olivia Barber, Stephanie Williams and Carly Remmos – were given an opportunity to impress among the 26-woman strong squad that took on Melbourne.

However, he stopped short of declaring any of that quintet as sure starters against the Kangaroos.

“Everyone had their moments; match committee’s certainly not going to be easy,” Hood said.

“We’ll spend a bit of time debating it.

“The draftees and just about everyone else did one or two things to make us think they’ve got exciting futures for the club.”

Geelong jumped the Demons with a four-goal-to-nil opening term, with the experienced Maddy Boyd kicking two majors.

However, Melbourne kicked five goals in the second quarter to claim a nine-point lead at the main break.

The Demon added two more goals in the third quarter to push the margin to 21-points, which turned out to be the final difference between the teams.

Hood described the performance as a “mixed bag”.

“We showed that when we’re able to control games for periods and win the contested footy, we can be a really, really powerful team,” he said.

“We saw glimpses of that last year and saw more glimpses yesterday, which is nice.

“But, when the opposition gains the ascendency, we’ve got to make sure we continue to adjust and adapt to that and get better at wrestling it back.”

Twitter: @tom_king79