Maddy Keryk is loving her footy at the moment.
In her second season at Geelong, the 25-year-old feels more comfortable and confident than ever and it’s evident both on and off the football field.
On the field, Keryk has made the switch from the midfield to the backline, becoming an integral cog in the Cats’ back five.
Off the field Keryk has become known around the club for her unique laugh, friendly demeanour and distinct music taste.
“Yeah, I’m absolutely loving it,” said Keryk.
“I think this year collectively as a group we’re all a lot closer and we all know each other a lot better because we’re not a new team coming together for the first time.
“Like most people, if you’re more comfortable with a group of people you’ll have a lot more fun because you’re just being more true to who you are.”
Keryk joined the Cats in 2018 and has never looked back noting she had an instant connection with the club.
“From the second that I came into the club I felt really welcomed, included and I felt like it was a really good environment for me to develop my footy and become a better player.
“There’s a strong culture of no matter where you came from you’re expected to buy in and work hard to develop yourself, develop the team and develop the club.”
Keryk was given the perfect opportunity to develop herself this season when she entered her new role in defence.
In her first three seasons of AFLW, two at Carlton and last year at Geelong, Keryk spent the majority of her time in the midfield and on the wing.
This pre-season she was told she would be moving down back and Keryk saw the change as an opportunity to learn.
“I really enjoyed the challenge of learning a new position and really trying to challenge myself to get better, I find things like that really rewarding.
“Learning how to do new things, learning new skills, finding out how to make myself better and things to get better at.
“Learning a whole new position, there was so much for me to focus on and get better at each week.
“So I really thrive in that kind of environment and push myself to improve and learn and grow.”
The former Carlton vice-captain had arguably her best season to date averaging a career-high 12 disposals per game and taking a number of intercept marks at crucial moments.
Though she credits her improvement to hard work, Keryk also enjoyed working with defensive coach Josh Finch.
“He (Finch) was new into the program this year and he was awesome as our line coach providing really direct feedback but keeping it simple and not sort of overloading you with too much information.
“He brought it back to a few key points that you could go out and implement and build on for the next week.”
Like many of her teammates Keryk was disappointed with how the 2020 season ended, but said that despite the current circumstances, there will be plenty for Cats’ fans to look forward to when women’s footy returns.
“I’m obviously disappointed that we didn’t get to finish this season because I thought that we were starting to really come together and we had some good patches of footy.
“We’ve got a core group of younger players, as they get another year, another pre-season in, and get stronger both physically and more experienced, the skill level and strength of our team is just going to go up and up.
“You know it’s only been our second season in, a couple of the other teams have got another two years head start so I’m just so excited to see how good we can be next year, particularly those younger players as they get better and better.”
The article is proudly presented by Charles Rose.