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Cats primed for historic Pies AFLW clash

Geelong are primed and ready for the big stage ahead of their historic first AFLW game against Collingwood at GMHBA Stadium.

Cats primed for historic Pies AFLW clash

Geelong are primed and ready for the big stage ahead of their historic first AFLW game against Collingwood at GMHBA Stadium.

MELISSA HICKEY of the Demons is challenged by Madeline Keryk of the Blues during the AFLW match between the Carlton Blues and the Melbourne Demons at Ikon Park in Melbourne, Australia.
MELISSA HICKEY of the Demons is challenged by Madeline Keryk of the Blues during the AFLW match between the Carlton Blues and the Melbourne Demons at Ikon Park in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Geelong are embracing the unknown as they embark on their club's AFLW journey with a historic clash against Collingwood.

About 20,000 fans are expected at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night when the Cats host the Pies to kick off the third AFLW season.


Just over half of Geelong's inaugural AFL Women's line-up have played together at VFLW level, but coach Paul Hood admits he can't be certain how they will perform in their first outing on on the big stage.

"I think there is a level of unknown about how what we do will stand up against (experienced) opposition," Hood told reporters on Friday.

"But we're really comfortable with our preparation through the VFLW, we're really comfortable with the leaders that we've brought into the club who have AFLW experience and we certainly really like what our youngsters have done.

"The unknown of how they will gel together and what it will look like when we play against an experienced AFLW team is one of the great parts of the story.

"It is unknown but it might be really, really exciting."

The Cats will be without star captain Melissa Hickey, who has lost her battle to recover from a knee reconstruction in time to lead the team out.

"The skipper was pretty close but she's still got a couple of things she needs to tick off in training ... we'll see her in the short term though," Hood said.

"It's just getting the volume of training in that she needs to be safe before she resumes play. Structurally everything is looking really good, it's just getting enough minutes (in training) to be ready to go."

The Pies are out to kick-off their campaign with a win for the first time having lost to Carlton in their previous two AFLW season-openers before battling to 3-4 win-loss records.

"I thought we were pretty good in the second half of last season," Pies coach Wayne Siekman said.

"If we can just build momentum from the end of last season into this season I think that will put us in a good spot.

"But in saying that we're a very similar side (to Geelong). We took a step back with expansion and really invested in the draft with youth.

"It will be an exciting night - not just for Geelong and Collingwood fans - but for the industry to show young talent on the way up and where the competition is going."

AAP


AAP




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