Move to backline working wonders for potential father-daughter Cat

A MOVE to defence has worked wonders for the unflappable Millie Brown, who is a strong chance to join Geelong as a father-daughter selection.

Brown is the daughter of Paul, who played 84 games for the Cats from 1990 to 1998.

AFLW rules state players qualify for father-daughter selection if they have played a single game for an AFL side, with a bidding process then playing out to ascertain with which pick the player will be selected.

Brown followed her younger brother Tom into Auskick, before playing juniors (mixed and then youth girls) at Mooroopna Cats, in Victoria's north-east.

More recently, she has played for Murray Bushrangers in the NAB League (captaining the side this year) and represented Vic Country at the NAB AFLW under-18 championships for the past four years.

Brown is a strong one-on-one defender, but she also has a big clearing kick and a steady head when it comes to rebounding.

She finds targets, hits them and controls the play and structure around her.

"When I first started youth girls, I was mainly wing and forward, but I've grown a bit over the past few years, and I couldn't really keep up on the wing anymore," Brown told womens.afl.

"We just tried going back at Murray and it seemed to keep me in the game a bit more and mentally switched on. It's been really good for me.

"I probably have good skills, but I'd lapse in and out of games. It was something that was really lacking for me, that consistency. Now being in defence, I've always got a job to do, and I feel more comfortable there instead of forward."

The 18-year-old Brown has grown up a Geelong fan, loving to watch the mercurial Steve Johnson and more recently, fellow defender Tom Stewart.

She played in Geelong's VFLW side this year after her under-18 commitments, playing three matches including an elimination final loss to Melbourne Uni.

Brown wasn't fazed by the pressures that come from finals, named in Geelong's best for the game with 19 disposals and four marks.

"It was different, because I hadn't played a lot of games with women. I kind of eased in, but the last game I played I felt really comfortable against Melbourne Uni," Brown said.

"I almost felt a bit bad that I'd come into the side at the end of the season and got a game in the final, that other girls might not be able to play. Dad told me not to worry about that stuff, and if they want to pick me, they want to pick me. 

"Now I think about it, I probably was a bit relaxed going in, because I hadn't been in the team all year, I hadn't had that real build up and the connection with it yet.

"The coaches 'Woody' and 'Hoody' (VFLW coach Nat Wood and AFLW coach Paul Hood) have been really great telling me to do my own thing, they didn't overload me with information, so I went out there with no expectations, which helped."

Having sworn off streaming Netflix and the like this year (Brown is school captain at Notre Dame College in Shepparton), she's looking forward to catching up on her favourite show Shameless and moving out of home, whether that's to Geelong or Melbourne.

"I've been looking at courses at Deakin Uni, maybe biomedical science or something involving genetics," Brown said.

"The Cats are probably where I want to be, it'll help with uni. It's a long way from home, which becoming a scarier as it's come nearer.

"If I was to go to a Melbourne team, it would be a little closer to home, which would be an upside, but the Cats have been really good to me so far."