AFLW pre-season has officially begun and Geelong captain Meghan McDonald says the playing group couldn’t be more excited for the season ahead.
Speaking at last night’s Carji Greeves Medal, McDonald said the AFLW squad is being driven by a disappointing 2021 season and is looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead.
“I think the excitement amongst the group couldn’t be more palpable,” said McDonald.
“Off the back of what was of course a disappointing year for us in 2021, we’ve made a bunch of changes.”
A number of changes have been made to the club’s AFLW program during the off season, including the signing of nine new players.
“A few things are exciting me,” said McDonald.
“I mean we’ve got new recruits. Chloe Scheer’s come over (from Adelaide), we’re looking forward to Rachel (Kearns) getting over from Ireland and then we’ve got a bunch of people like Chantel (Emonson) who have already been hitting the track and are really setting the standard.”
A further change has been the appointment of former Geelong player Dan Lowther as senior coach.
Lowther played 34 games for the Cats between 1997-2001 and was an assistant coach in the program last year.
“Dan has been fantastic," McDonald said.
“He knows what it means to wear the hoops and I think he’s really making sure the playing group understands that as well and plays and trains and improves with a view to continuing the greatness of this Club.”
Though pre-season officially commenced last night, the team has had optional training sessions over the past month.
Being able to train through the lockdown has been a privilege not lost on McDonald and she hopes that by the time the AFLW season begins in January that there will be fans in the stands of GMHBA Stadium.
“The playing group considers it a real privilege to be able to come together and train,” she said.
“Hopefully by the time the AFLW season starts things are a little bit back to normal and we can really run out that race amongst a really big crowd that’s stoked to be back at the footy, so that’s motivating us.
“We’ve got a few months of work ahead, but we’re looking forward to doing that come January.”
Let the hard work begin.