Geelong Cats VFLW midfielder Tamara Smith has signed as an open-age recruit at expansion club Hawthorn.

Smith, renowned for her tackling pressure and ability to win the ball, has played 34 VFLW games across her time at Richmond and Geelong, and proven to be potent on the ball and up forward.

In season 2022, Smith has averaged 10.6 tackles a game in her 11 appearances, and also kicked four goals – including three in a final-term blitz against Williamstown in Round 13.

The win over the Seagulls will be Smith’s last appearance for the VFLW Cats, with AFLW pre-season set to start on Monday.

“Tamara Smith has been a valuable contributor to our VFLW program over the past few seasons and has set the standard for intensity at the contest,” Geelong Head of AFLW and Pathways Brett Johnson said.

“Tamara’s hard work has paid off with her now receiving this well-deserved opportunity at AFLW level. We wish her well as she continues her football journey at Hawthorn.”

Smith is the latest VFLW Cat to earn an opportunity at the top level, following Paige Sheppard’s signing with Sydney last week. Last season, VFLW-listed Cats Claudia Gunjaca, Liv Fuller and Annabel Johnson were all recruited to the Cats’ AFLW list.

The Cats’ VFLW side takes on Southern Saints in an Elimination Final this Saturday at Deakin University Elite Sports Precinct from 1.05pm.