Geelong Cats first-year midfielder Georgie Prespakis has been recognised for her strong debut performance with a NAB Rising Star Award nomination.
Prespakis - who was one of two players to earn a Round 1 Rising Star nomination alongside North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos' Mia King - wasted no time making her impact felt at AFLW level.
Taking her place in the centre square for the first bounce of 2022, Prespakis showed her composure and confidence to win the first clearance of the match.
The 18-year-old Calder Cannons graduate finished the game with 20 disposals, seven clearances (equal-most on the ground), six tackles, five inside 50s (second most), three intercepts and two score involvements.
Prespakis also gained 402m for the match – the most of any Cat and third most across both teams.
“To have Georgie Prespakis come out and play the way she did just shows she’s ready for AFLW football,” coach Dan Lowther said after the game.
Prespakis fitted in seamlessly with 2021 midfield stars Amy McDonald and Becky Webster, and the returning Nina Morrison, in what Lowther described as a “formidable midfield group once they’re up and running”.
The Cats’ top draft pick in 2021 (no.2 overall), Prespakis looked at home in the middle of the AFLW field, taking on the contest, breaking through would-be tacklers, and driving the Cats forward.
She stood out for more than just her already iconic long sleeves in game 1 of a promising AFLW career.
The AFLW awards NAB Rising Star nominations each week to that week’s two best players under the age of 21.
The overall NAB Rising Star award is decided by a panel of experts and awarded at the end of the season at the W Awards.