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VFLW: Grand Final Preview

VFLW Grand Final press conf Geelong Cats: Coach Paul Hood / Captain Bec Goring | Hawthorn: Coach Patrick Hill / Deputy vice-captain Lou Wotton

Geelong will be playing for its first VFLW premiership against Hawthorn this Sunday in the 2018 VFLW Grand Final.

Scheduled to start at 12:30pm at Etihad Stadium, the Cats are ready to play in their biggest game yet in just their second year in the VFLW competition.

Geelong and Hawthorn have faced each other once this year, in the final game of the home and away season. The Hawks were victorious in that meeting, defeating the Cats by 16 points after a damaging second quarter and capitalising on their efficiency in the forward line.

Despite this loss, Geelong VFLW coach Paul Hood is confident that his side will challenge Hawthorn in what’s expected to be another tight encounter.

“We were quietly confident that we could improve our performance after that day, obviously we learn a bit from playing against the Hawks,” Hood said.

“They put in a really powerful performance but we’re also confident that we had a couple of changes to be made to our side in the near future.

“Hawthorn have had a terrific season, they finished second on the ladder.

“But as far as specifics go it’s just going to be a really tight contest and the team that executes the best on the day will win I think.”

Missing from the round 16 clash against Hawthorn were young guns Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell, and according to Cats skipper Bec Goring, the Geelong Falcons graduates will play an important role on Sunday.

“Having them jump straight into the squad has been fantastic,” Goring said.

“It’s been a bit of fresh air and moving in to the finals series it really gave us a bit of spark.

“Their precision on field has been extraordinary, so we’ll look to really use that as a weapon coming into Sunday’s game.”

There will be plenty of talent on show for the Cats, with forwards Kate Darby and Mia-Rae Clifford both finishing in the top five this season in the VFLW goal kicking.

Anna Teague will be looking to continue her impressive finals series in defence, having been named in the Geelong’s best players in both games so far, as a potential match up to Hawthorn’s leading goal kicker and AFLW player Sarah Perkins.

Back-to-back VFLW Team of the Year member Rocky Cranston will also be ready to fire on the big stage, with the midfielder enjoying another dominant season, while fellow AFLW signing Maddie Boyd proved to be a vital target in the forward line in the Cats’ semi-final victory over Collingwood.

Hawthorn stars Phoebe McWilliams and Julia Crockett-Grills will be lining up against future teammates, with the duo in enemy territory for one last game before joining Geelong in its inaugural AFLW season next year.

The Cats will be full of momentum after an impressive finals series so far, having defeated the NT Thunder and minor premiers Collingwood to earn their Grand Final spot.

The support from Cats fans has been fantastic this season, so put on your blue and white and come and support the VFLW this Sunday in their quest for their first ever premiership.

Tickets start from $16 and there is free entry for children under 15.

The match will also be live streamed on the VFL website.

Match Details
What: 
Grand Final - Geelong Cats v Hawthorn
When: Sunday 23 September at 12:30pm
Where: Etihad Stadium (gates open at 12pm)

Ticket information
Prices range from $16-23, with kids (under 15) FREE.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs