It was at a dinner with the club’s board of directors that one of Nicole Garner’s season goals came to fruition.
Held at Vice-President Bob Gartland’s house, the club’s new AFLW players were given an exclusive viewing of Gartland’s famous collection of Geelong Football Club memorabilia.
The door to Gartland’s collection is covered with countless signatures of former and current players who have worn the club's famous hoops.
It was there that Gartland explained to the new recruits that if they were to play a game for the club they’d get their opportunity to sign the door.
“We were invited to have dinner prior to Christmas with the board of directors at Bob Gartland’s house,'' said Garner.
“It was really just to welcome us to the club and made us really feel like part of the club and part of the family.
“Bob said if you play your first game, you sign his door, so that’s something I would love to do this season.”
Garner’s debut in the hoops certainly isn’t out of the question given how seamlessly the 27-year-old has fitted into her new home
Arriving from Casey’s VFLW team where she was a co-captain, Garner has immersed herself in the Cats’ culture and values.
“The environment, the culture, the feeling around the group’s just really intense and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
“Obviously coming into such a large group of girls that have all been together now for a full season and a few VFL seasons, my ability to come in pretty seamlessly has been really helpful.
“It’s enabled me to grow both on and off the field immensely."
In her first AFLW pre-season Garner’s running ability has become a feature with the number 50 draft pick often challenging the group’s elite runners in Nina Morrison and Renee Garing.
Morrison in particular is someone Garner has been impressed by, with the two often going head-to-head in the midfield.
“In terms of a role model… I can’t go past Nina.
“When I pride myself on my work-rate and I see her running past me it just drives me to go even harder and even faster and then her skills just back it up.
“On the field she’s someone that hands down stands out.”
Garner has also been doing some extra one-on-one sessions with midfield coach Natalie Wood focussing on her midfield craft.
“I’m lucky enough I can get into the club nice and early so I get a bit of one-on-one time with Nat.
“We’re just really working on my midfield craft, just trying to be really precise with my ball movement, really precise with my decision making and we’re doing a little bit of footwork as well just so I can really use my speed to the best of my ability.”
With less than a month to go until Round 1 Garner is doing everything possible to ensure the door is open for her debut.