Cats’ captain Meghan McDonald’s strong season in defence has seen her named in the initial 2021 AFL Women’s All-Australian squad.

McDonald was named in the 40-player squad on Wednesday night, with the final team of 21 is set to be revealed at the W Awards on Tuesday, April 20.

It was a strong season from McDonald in her first year as captain of the Cats’ AFLW side.

The 29-year-old averaged 14.6 disposals, 2.2 spoils, 8.3 intercept possessions and 1.9 intercept marks a game in 2021.

McDonald’s impact was not lost on those outside the club, either. She was named in Geelong’s best in seven out of a possible nine games by AFL Media and AAP reporters this season, and her All-Australian squad inclusion is further recognition of her impact on the game.

McDonald previously named at full back in the AFLW All-Australian team in 2019 – the Cats’ first year in the AFLW – when she also claimed the club’s best and fairest award.