Three Cats have been recognised for their outstanding seasons by being named in the 2021 rebel VFLW Team of the Year, announced on Thursday night.
Laura Gardiner, Claudia Gunjaca and Liv Fuller all earned spots in the team of 21, which was presented at the 2021 VFL and VFLW Award ceremony.
Gardiner, following on from her debut AFLW season with the Cats, was named on the wing after a standout season in the state league.
The 18-year-old averaged 21.3 disposals across the season, and brought the pressure with an average of 8.3 tackles per game.
Gardiner topped 30 disposals twice this season, the first in a phenomenal performance against the Southern Saints in Round 3, when she notched up 30 touches and an incredible 13 tackles.
The former Geelong Falcon also racked up 33 disposals and a goal against Hawthorn in Round 13.
For Fuller and Gunjaca, the Team of the Year recognition comes off the back of being elevated to the Cats’ AFLW list for 2022 as pre-draft mature-age recruits.
Fuller’s breakthrough season saw her named in the ruck, after averaging 16.2 hitouts and 10 disposals a game.
The 22-year-old had a particularly impressive back-end of the season, recording 36, 36 and 35 hitouts respectively across the Cats’ three finals.
She earned best afield honours for the Cats against Collingwood in round 14 (12 disposals, 27 hitouts) and the Qualifying final (22 disposals, 36 hitouts).
Gunjaca, who was the Cats’ VFLW vice-captain, was named on the interchange after her first season for the club.
The Cats’ VFLW best and fairest winner averaged 13.4 disposals, 3.4 marks and 3.9 tackles a game in season 2021, as well as kicking six majors.
The Cats also had a player named in the VFL men’s Team of the Year, with Jackson McLachlan named on a half-forward flank.