Cats hope to stop the emotional rollercoaster

GEELONG forward Maddie Boyd is hoping her team will be more settled against Adelaide on Sunday after an emotional two weeks for the club.

There was great excitement around Geelong for the team's first AFLW game, a nail-biting one-point win over Collingwood.

But the high of that night was quickly followed by a crushing low. 

Young gun Nina Morrison, who kicked the winning point the week in the Cats' debut, tore her right ACL at training just two days before the club's round two match against reigning premiers the Western Bulldogs. 

That clash resulted in a disappointing 18-point loss for a side that was a bit "flat", according to Boyd. 

"It was great to get that first win out of the way. Round one is always going to be frantic and a bit of a s***-fight in the first 10 minutes, so if you can get away with a win, it's always good," Boyd told womens.afl

"It was a real big high in the first week. I think the second week, we were probably a little bit flat, we've gone from high to low in the space of a week. It's just about maintaining a nice, steady rate, try to avoid this [waves arms] and do this [makes a straight-line gesture]. 

"We'll be better in week three. Still in the second game, I think we matched it with the Bulldogs. I don't think they were outstanding compared to us, it was kind of a weird game actually. I think we'll be better for it in the long run and have learnt a lot from it." 

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The 25-year-old is at her third AFLW club in three years, but has come home to Geelong, the town she grew up in and the club she supported.

Boyd played in the ruck for Grovedale West primary school with the boys, winning their best and fairest, but didn't play again until she was 16, when youth girls footy came to Geelong. 

She played for Clonard College before graduating to North Geelong in the VFLW, a club she says was the only men's club in the region who were willing to field a women's team.

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Her debut AFLW season in 2017 with Melbourne yielded seven games with an average of five disposals and no goals. 

A move to GWS followed in 2018, but left hamstring tendinitis limited her to just the first two games of the season. 

But her return to Geelong (where she had already played two VFLW seasons after the Cats obtained North Geelong's licence) saw Boyd kicking the club's first ever AFLW goal (and her own first), at GMHBA Stadium in round one.

It was the ground where, as an eight-year-old alongside her dad, she watched her first AFL match – Geelong legend Garry Hocking's final game in 2001. 

"[The Cats' AFLW debut] was a pretty special moment, I'll definitely never forget that," Boyd said. 

"I'll never forget the whole night, but I'll look back and be pretty proud of that. That crowd was amazing. I was so nervous, I was just thinking, 'please don't shank it. It's not that far out, just kick through the ball.'" 

Boyd is playing with a new-found confidence, averaging 8.5 disposals and 3.5 tackles a match, and involved in the general play a lot more than in her AFLW games over the past two years. 

"I feel comfortable here. Phoebe [McWilliams, Boyd's teammate in the forward line] … made a good point that if you're comfortable in your colours, you feel like you belong. That's what I feel like at Geelong, I really do. 

"I think it comes out in your performance and I hope it just gets better and better. I think I've got a long way to go, I haven't reached my potential yet, so I've just got to keep rising to the next level."

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