Geelong VFLW midfielder Abby Favell says making the move to the Cats last year is one of the best decisions she has made.
Favell, who joined Geelong’s VFLW program from Hawthorn VFLW ahead of the 2023 season, finished runner-up in the club’s Best and Fairest award, making her mark in a dynamic midfield group.
Favell averaged 16.6 disposals and 4.5 tackles a game in 2023, with her skill and commitment setting the standard for her teammates.
“Making the decision to move to the Cats has probably been the best decision I’ve ever made,” Favell said.
“It’s been really positive for my mental health and my physical health, as well – all my friends and family can tell you that.
“I’m a lot happier and less tired, and just happy to be here, really.
“Off the field, I’m making friends left, right and centre, and on the field, I’m having a great time and getting to play with some really cool people.”
The move eased the burden of commuting for football for Favell, and the 21-year-old’s leadership qualities were immediately apparent, as she was elevated into the player leadership group in her first season in the Hoops.
Favell, who recently was named the latest den Hollander Geelong Cats VFLW scholarship recipient through Deakin University, said she was “very shocked” to finish runner-up in the Club’s best and fairest award, although the news would not have come as a surprise to Cats faithful.
“I was very, very honoured,” Favell said of her runner-up finish in the count.
“It was a great achievement, I think, and the Cats have been a part of my whole journey, helping me to achieve that, and I’m sure they are going to look for bigger and better things (from me), and there’s still lots more to come.”
Following the VFLW season, Favell joined Geelong’s AFLW program as a train-on partner, bolstering her continued development as a player and following the Club’s AFLW side’s fortunes from up close as they made it to within a kick of the Grand Final.
Favell said it was a “great opportunity” to learn alongside the likes of Amy McDonald, Georgie Prespakis and Nina Morrison.
“I think getting to play with the three best midfielders in the league (in my opinion), and getting to see how the Cats midfield run and how different it is to other teams I’ve played in (was beneficial),” Favell said.
“It was a great opportunity to try to match it with them and get to learn some new skills, and make some more friends in that area as well.”
The Cats’ VFLW pre-season training has resumed after a Christmas break, as the program continues to build into the 2024 season, which begins on the weekend of March 23/24.