Three Cats will celebrate AFL Women’s milestones as they take on Collingwood in Friday night’s Pride Round fixture at GMHBA Stadium.

Reliable defender Maddy McMahon and leadership group members Julia Crockett-Grills and Chantel Emonson will all be playing their 25th AFLW game.

For McMahon and Crockett-Grills, all 25 games have been played at Geelong, since the pair debuted in the Cats’ inaugural match against the Magpies in Round 1, 2019.

Fittingly – after both have shown remarkable consistency and durability to only miss one game apiece since that day – their milestone will be brought up against the Magpies as well.

McMahon, a mother of three, joined the Cats as a cross-code rookie, hailing from a basketball and netball background.

She has found her home in the Cats’ defence, with her courageous spoils and intercepts a highlight of her game, which has been prominent in the opening two clashes of 2022.

McMahon’s speed and ability to read the play lend her versatility as a defender, allowing her to play tall or small. She was named in the initial 2019 AFLW All-Australian squad after a strong debut season.

This season, the defender has averaged 4.5 spoils a game and brought the defensive pressure. She was named on the backline in the AFLW Team of the Week for Round 2 after her efforts against the Blues.

Crockett-Grills was recruited straight from the VFLW, where she played for Box Hill Hawks (later renamed Hawthorn), ahead of the Cats’ first season in the national competition.

Having played footy as a youngster, she had to put her love of the game on the shelf for some years as pathways dried up, but when Crockett-Grills was older and living in Melbourne, she played for Scoresby and Knox, en route to an eventual AFLW career.

The 27-year-old has grown as a leader over her four seasons with the Cats, and was this year elevated to the leadership group for the first time.

Renowned for her relentless work ethic, Crockett-Grills has been a strong contributor with her transition running, and led the Cats for inside 50s in 2021.

Emonson might only be three games into her career at Geelong, but her impact has been immediate since crossing from the Melbourne Demons during the AFLW sign and trade period.

The 28-year-old was elevated straight into the leadership group after an impactful pre-season at her new footy home, and has proven to be a valuable asset in a playing capacity as well in the new-look Cats line-up.

Emonson has averaged 9.5 disposals and 218.7 metres gained so far this season (up from career averages of 8.6 and 172.3 respectively), and has been noticeable for her work ethic in the opening two games.

Speaking after the loss to Carlton, Emonson said the Cats would need to bring the high-pressure game they are building a reputation for when they take on the in-form Magpies.

02:04 Mins
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AFLW Chantel Emonson Post-Match | Round 2

Watch our exclusive interview with Chantel Emonson post-match. Presented by Ford.

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“Obviously Collingwood is a really good side, and it’s going to be a really good test for us,” she said.

“Coming off a six-day break, we just need to bring the fight that we showed last week and this week consistently.

“If we can bring that, I’m sure we can challenge Collingwood, and we just probably need to get a few more goals on the scoreboard.”

The Cats take on Collingwood tonight from 7.10pm at GMHBA Stadium.

The Cats’ Summer Footy Festival is on again from 5pm on St Mary’s Oval, adjacent to GMHBA Stadium, ahead of the game.

The FREE event will feature live music and entertainment, food trucks, giveaways and much more.