The Bendigo Bank Cats will launch their VFLW campaign away to Melbourne University on Sunday.

Last year’s Grand Finalist's have included nine 2020 AFLW listed Cats in the 23-player squad for round one.

Joining the likes of Bec Goring at the back and Kate Darby in attack will be new recruits Anna Haigh and Breanna Beckley.

Both players join the club from St Marys but have come from slightly different pathways.

Haigh, who has been named to start in the midfield came through the Geelong Falcons system and is known for who speed and ability to find the football.

While Beckley hails from a netball background and is a smaller player who uses her evasive skills developed on the court with great effect on the football field.

Two players to watch in 2019 will be Amy McDonald and Rebecca Pearce. They have been named on the wing and half back flank respectively.

“Amy and Bec are probably the two players that are closest to taking that next step to the AFLW, as they’ve been able to see within arm’s reach what is possible for them if they keep working hard at developing their game - I wouldn’t rule any of our squad members out though,” said VFLW Coach Natalie Wood speaking to

Wood, who will take over the Head Coach mantle from Paul Hood this season, believes the side’s strength lies in their ability to defend across the ground.

“I want to be known for my ability to support Paul Hood’s program and help these players develop over the winter, so that whoever is in that AFLW squad come November is in a good position to move forward."

“Coming out of the last AFLW season – and in previous VFLW seasons – we were a good defensive unit with players that work to shut down the opposition’s ball movement well, but we want to move the ball into attack better. We have safe ways of moving the footy, but it’s about how we can be more adventurous with our ball movement.”

Sunday’s season opener will kick off at 2.30pm.

Round One Team

B: 23. H Rowe, 4. C Blakeway, 49. E Ramsay
HB: 20. R Pearce, 44. R Goring, 11. J Woollett
C: 3. A McDonald, 27. R Webster, 10. G Rankin
HF: 19. S DeGiacomi, 17. G Clark, 45. M Keryk
F: 7. R Benham, 8. K Darby, 42. B Beckley
R: 1. R Caris, 5. J Ivey, 41. A Haigh
Int: 14. N French, 43. M Maguire, 13. L Taylor, 33. Z Inei, 9. T Love
Emg: 15. G Deller, 16. O Purcell, 26. M Boyd