Cats sign four at AFLW draft

August 5, 2021 BY

GRC president Peter Murrihy, GRC track manager Jimmy Dalton, CUB ambassador Billy Brownless, GRC chief executive officer Luke Rayner and event MC Tom King. Photos: ANDY ROGERS PHOTOGRAPHY

THE Geelong Cats have added four young talents to its AFLW list at this year’s AFLW Draft.

Held last week, the draft was run in a virtual format with all AFLW clubs participating remotely.

Geelong had a strong hand of selections going into the draft, with three picks inside the top 10 and all four inside the top 15.

Georgie Prespakis – selection 2
Calder Cannons, 168cm, Midfielder

An inside midfielder with elite skills around stoppages, the 18-year-old’s kicking ability is one of her strengths. At 168cm, Prespakis is a strong clearance player with great overhead ability.

Prespakis played juniors in Romsey before crossing over to Sunbury as a 14-year-old to play in the under-18 youth girls competition. Prespakis won the NAB League Best & Fairest as a 16-year-old in 2019 and was named in the NAB AFLW Academy squad in 2021.

The younger sister of Carlton’s Maddy, Georgie’s skill and long sleeves are already making a name for themselves.

Zali Friswell – selection 7
Calder Cannons, 165cm, Midfield/forward

One of the NAB League’s most consistent midfielders, Friswell finds the ball, finds space and uses it cleanly. A well-balanced, agile player, she is able to hit a target with precision.

Friswell shared the midfield alongside fellow Geelong draftee Georgie Prespakis for the Calder Cannons this year.

Friswell has spent time in both the back and forward pockets this year for the Cannons and Essendon VFLW but is at her most damaging through the midfield.

Gabbi Featherston – selection 9
Geelong Falcons, 170cm, Forward/ruck

Featherston has developed in leaps and bounds across 2021. Featherston’s athleticism, contested marking and ability to hit the scoreboard are among her key strengths. An impactful player, Featherston makes things happen.

At 170cm, the 17-year-old has an impressive vertical leap. Featherston’s ability to step into a secondary ruck role at NAB League level has set her apart this year.

Hailing from Apollo Bay, Featherston has also played at local level for Colac Imperials in 2021. Featherston’s late father Peter was a former Geelong Falcon and local football legend in the Colac & District Football League.

Gabbi Featherston has an impressive vertical leap. Photo: GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB

Annabel Johnson – selection 15
Geelong VFLW, 167cm, Midfielder

After taking up football less than a year ago, Johnson’s rise to an AFLW list has been rapid. Originally from Echuca, the 20-year-old moved to the Geelong region to begin her studies at Deakin University.

With a sporting background in netball and soccer, Johnson joined Geelong’s VFLW side for 2021.

An athletic midfielder, Johnson played 14 VFLW games for Geelong this season, averaging 14.6 disposals, 2.7 marks and 4.8 tackles per game. Johnson will line up for the Cats in this weekend’s VFLW preliminary final.

In other Cats AFLW news, Millie Brown will take a break from football for the 2021/2022 season, which will begin in December, and the defender has been officially placed on the inactive list.
The 14 AFLW clubs selected 59 players at the draft, with the Gold Coast Suns taking Charlie Rowbottom with pick #1.

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