K rock Football

At Selection – AFLW Round 2

NINA Morrison will have to wait another week to play her first AFLW match at GMHBA Stadium in almost two years after being one of four Geelong players forced out of the clash with Carlton under the AFL’s health and safety protocols.

The young gun, fellow leadership group member Georgie Rankin, and midfielders Julia Crockett-Grills and Sophie van De Heuvel will miss the clash with the Blues on Saturday night.

“It’s not ideal. It’s something we just have to deal with when it comes,” coach Dan Lowther said.

“As all coaches have said, it’s part of the DNA of AFLW now, and it will be in the AFL and sport in general.

“Our players know they could be in the team, out of the team, and straight back in the team, depending on their health.

“It’s how it is; we’ve just got to roll with it.”

Lowther said it would have been preferred for Morrison, who returned to action following a second knee reconstruction last week, to get some continuity in her football.

“It is frustrating after a two-year hiatus and doing quite well for her first game against the Kangas last week,” he said.

“It would have been nice to get some flow for her, but also the players around her being such a new group.

“She’s feeling fine. It’s just one of those things, unfortunately, that she can’t play due to the health and safety protocols.”

For Crocket-Grills, who was nominated for the AFLW goal of the week, it ends her streak of playing in every Geelong AFLW match, leaving defender Maddy Keryk as the last woman standing.

Second-year midfielders Darcy Moloney and Carly Remmos will both play their first matches of the year, forward Dani Higgins has been recalled after being squeezed out last week, and draftee Gabbi Featherston will debut.

Featherston, a product of Colac Imperials, was drafted from the Geelong Falcons with pick nine.

“She’s someone who I see as important to our DNA in terms of where we go in the future,” Lowther said.

“She can play at either end of the ground, (and) she rucked in the under-18 competition.

“She can play tall or small; she’s a great kick; she’s a strong competitor; she’s fast, agile.

“She’s got all the attributes.”

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Geelong (8th) vs. Carlton (10th)

GMHBA Stadium

Saturday, January 15, 7:10pm