This weekend when Maddy Keryk runs out onto GMHBA Stadium she will become the first player to play 25 AFLW games for the club.

Keryk joined the Cats in 2018 after being delisted by Carlton, where she played the first two seasons of AFLW.

It was perfect timing for Keryk and the Cats as the former Carlton vice-captain provided leadership and experience to a new team finding their feet.

The now 26-year-old has added stability to the team’s backline and for the past two seasons has been voted into the player leadership group by her peers.

“Since the moment she came into the footy club she’s brought that leadership on field,” said teammate Renee Garing on K Rock Football’s Cat Attack Podcast.

“If you listen to the backline, Meg McDonald is loud, but Maddy Keryk is well and truly directing the backline and she stood up on the weekend.”

Keryk was outstanding in her first game for 2022, with 14 disposals and seven intercept possessions in the Cats eight-point loss to North Melbourne.

“She takes those intercept marks but it’s a lot of the work she’s doing off the ball,” said Garing.

“She’s hard to play against and she does bring that leadership, which in the seasons she’s been playing has had a huge impact.”

With covid creating a fixture shuffle for Round 2, Keryk now faces her former side Carlton, adding even more significance to what will be a special night.

Listen to the full episode of Cat Attack with K Rock’s Tom King and Cats Women’s Renee Garing.