It’ll be hard to miss Becky Webster as she dashes through the midfield this NAB AFL Women’s season.
Donning eye-catching hot-pink boots, the 20-year-old was a standout in last Saturday’s practice match against Melbourne – for more than just her footwear.
The defender-turned-midfielder looked clean and composed in what was a high-intensity game at GMHBA Stadium, and stood up in some pivotal plays for the Cats.
A solid tackle in the midfield early in the game won Webster a free kick, and sent the Cats on their way for a goal in a dominant first term, while an outstanding one-versus-three contested mark and intercept marks gave the team hope in a resurgent fourth quarter.
Cats head coach Paul Hood lauded Webster’s “fantastic moments” through the midfield, and she was among the Cats’ best on the day.
Webster said there was plenty she could learn from the clash, and hoped to continue to implement the things the midfield group had learned under the guidance of assistant coach Dan Lowther over the pre-season going forward.
“(I) just want to really work on my transition and contest around the footy, so hopefully I’ll be able to implement that in games,” she said.
“Dan has taught me a lot over the pre-season – positioning and that sort of thing – so hopefully I can take what he said and really put it out on the track and just really do everything I can for the team to get it forward and lock it in.
“Having a lot more time in the midfield allowed me to put those (lessons) into practice, so I’m super excited for the season.”
Webster said there was plenty the Cats would take from their practice match as they prepare for a big challenge against North Melbourne in next Sunday’s season-opener.
Geelong showed its best could be scintillating in a big first term, but a quiet following two quarters saw them give up the lead to Melbourne.
There were some great passages of play in the fourth quarter as the Cats fought back, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
“There were definitely times that we implemented the things that we’ve been working on hard, and when we did those things, we were scoring and we were playing the brand of footy that we wanted to play,” Webster said.
“But when we weren’t, that was when we became quite vulnerable and opened up the game for Melbourne to come and kick a few goals on us, so we’ll be able to learn from that and hopefully counteract that in the first game.”
Webster said she can’t wait to run out in front of a home crowd on January 31’s season-opener – which will now be starting at the earlier time of 12.10pm AEDT.
“There’s nothing better than playing a home game for your first game, and getting the supporters down to help cheer us,” she said.
“It’s always great coming out here (on GMHBA Stadium) and playing, and we’ve trained so hard on this ground for the past two months, so it will be good to be able to play a full game on here.”
Webster said the cohesion of the playing group had stepped up again, with the majority of the Cats’ list entering their third season together at AFLW level.
“We’ve had a lot of players go through all three seasons with us, so we’ve been very lucky to have that cohesion this year, and building from last season,” she said.
“It will be very good out on the track and around the ball; we know each other’s strengths a lot more between the lines, so it’s super exciting.”
And as for the showstopping pink boots? They’ve got a big tick of approval from Webster.
“I know the girls get around them, so it makes it better,” she said with a laugh.