YOUNG gun Olivia Purcell believes anything is possible for Geelong if it continues playing a bold brand of footy that helped it to a one-point win over Collingwood at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.
Purcell capped off a stunning 12 months, which included claiming the Geelong Falcons best-and-fairest in a premiership year, selections in the TAC Cup team of the Year and the All-Australian team, with an influential performance in her first match at AFLW level.
Selected by the Cats with pick No.14 in the National Draft, Purcell picked up 15 disposals and laid an impressive six tackles on Saturday night, adding a great burst of speed to the Cats midfield and putting instant pressure on the Magpies’ defence inside forward 50.
Although Purcell and her fellow Cats teammates are familiar with playing on GMHBA Stadium, she couldn’t help but soak it all in as more than 18,000 people filled the stands.
“With that crowd, it just felt surreal,” she said.
“I was trying to keep as relaxed as I could (before the game). But the first time I ran out there, the nerves started kicking in”.
In a tense final quarter, it was Geelong’s young brigade that helped seal the victory in the final moments, with fellow former Falcon Nina Morrison kicking what proved to be the match-winning behind with less than three minutes remaining.
“It was pretty stressful at times, but I just had a feeling we’d be okay,” she said.
“Our backline was awesome; they just killed it. I thought if we kept our cool then we’d get the win”.
Purcell was also full of praise for Morrison and Denby Taylor.
“It was just amazing being out there playing with Denby and Nina”.
“I thought they played their roles so well.”
The trio is no stranger to success, having played in the premiership with the Geelong Falcons together, while Purcell and Morrison played in last year’s VFLW Grand Final loss to Hawthorn.
Although pleased with the win, Purcell was quick to turn her attention to next week.
The Cats take on the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on Saturday night, with the reigning premier also registering a one-point win in a thriller against Adelaide.
“I think now we know what that winning feeling is like, we can get on with it, play our game and enjoy it,” Purcell said.