WE only got a fleeting look at her undoubted talent in 2019, so it’s good news for Geelong that Nina Morrison is tracking well in her return from a severe knee injury.
The first pick in last year’s AFLW Draft, Morrison starred in the Cats’ win over Collingwood to open the 2019 season, earning a Rising Star nomination on the back of 22 possessions and eight tackles.
However, her season was over by the time Round 2 rolled around after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament at training.
Morrison instantly makes the Cats’ midfield stronger, but coach Paul Hood is not placing too much expectation on the 18-year-old’s shoulders.
“We won’t rush her, of course,” Hood said. In the shuttle (run) last week, she was setting the tone for the group. She’s doing everything right and tracking as well as she can.
“We’re excited at what she can bring. I feel like we’ve got a lot of recruits in some respects because everyone’s improved in the VFLW season and learnt new roles.
“I don’t want to really single out Nina, but I think we’ll see a lot of growth from that young part of our list.”
Among those learning news roles during the VFLW season was 2018 draftee Becky Webster, who adapted so well to a spot in the midfield she claimed the Geelong best-and-fairest.
“Becky’s a really talented player and a contested beast,” Hood said.
“One of her great strengths is how she can run with the ball and get out of traffic. She could add a lot to our midfield, whether it’s a full-time thing or it’s a secondary role for her.
“That was a plan with a lot of the players in the VFLW; to add another string to their bow. Georgia Clarke’s gone forward with great success, and Renee Garing’s been training as a forward.
“So, there are a few little things like that that might be different for some of the players. And that gives us flexibility and competitiveness for spots on the list, which is a good thing.”