K rock Football

Cats with a point to prove: Ivey

Geelong AFLW duo Maddy Keryk (left) and Jordan Ivey model the jumper in the Cats will wear against Collingwood. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

FORWARD Jordan Ivey has shrugged off predictions Geelong will struggle in its inaugural AFLW season.

The Cats are one of two new teams in the competition alongside North Melbourne and will open their campaign against Collingwood at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.

“I guess there is a little bit of a point-to-prove,” Ivey, who has battled plantar fasciitis through the pre-season, said.

“I don’t think we’re going in undermanned or anything like that. I think we’re going to be quite competitive.

“And I think we can go away from our practice game with some confidence.

“I thought everyone played quite well … I’m confident we can go alright throughout this season.”

Ivey says a win over the Magpies will provide the Cats with plenty of momentum early in the seven-round season.

“It’ll do our confidence a world of good if we do, and I think it will just take us onwards and upwards from there,” she said.

“So, I think Round 1’s really important for us, and I’m confident we can have a really good game.

“And being down here at GMHBA Stadium, I know that we’ll have everyone behind us, so that’ll help us a lot.”

The meeting with Collingwood will mark Ivey’s return to AFLW for the first time since she featured in two games as an injury replacement at Carlton in 2017.

It has been a rollercoaster ride for the 26-year-old since.

She spent more than 14 months on the sidelines after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament in the second round of the 2017 VFL Women’s season.

Ivey says the lead-up to the AFLW season has given her a chance to reflect on her journey.

“Especially seeing ‘Flynny’ (Elise Coventry) go down in the practice match the other week, I think it brought back a few memories,” she said.

“And given this opportunity here at Geelong, I’m not going to take it for granted.

“I just come out and train my heart out every single session, and just hope that I can get picked and play some good footy.”

Geelong will wear a specially-designed jumper for the match-up with the Magpies.

It will honour the “Pioneer” era in the club’s foray into women’s football, with the name of every member, player and coach across 2017-18 included.

Twitter: @tom_king79