HOLDING her spot in the improving Geelong AFLW team for the remainder of the season will provide Kate Darby with plenty of motivation when she makes her first appearance of 2020 tomorrow.
After playing seven matches in the Cats’ debut AFLW campaign, Darby has been overlooked for the opening three rounds.
However, the 29-year-old has been given her chance among two changes for Saturday’s clash with Richmond at Bendigo’s QE Oval.
Darby says there is plenty of “fire in the belly” to make sure she retains her position during March.
“You don’t need to come and in do everything, but you just need to come in and play your role, and that’s all I’ve been asked to do,” she said.
“So, I’ll do my best to do that on the weekend and hopefully can help the team and together we can put together our first win.”
While accepting of the decision of the Geelong coaching staff to leave her out of the losses to Fremantle, Brisbane and Adelaide, Darby has admitted to disappointment at not being part of the club’s best twenty-one.
“You have to be disappointed; otherwise there’s no reason you want to be out there,” she said.
“It’s an emotional game; all you want to do is work hard and be a part of it all, so there’s disappointment, and we know it can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times.
“But, I respect Hoody (coach Paul Hood) so much and what he does.
“The way he speaks to you about everything. If you’ve ever got a question, he’s always there for you – whether it’s a five-minute chat or half-an-hour on the phone.
“We’ve had some really good conversations over the last few weeks.”
Those conversations have included plenty of feedback about what would earn Darby her spot in the team.
“Whether it’s making a contest and bringing my physicality, or bringing that extra little bit when it’s on the ground as well – I’ve been working really hard on my groundballs,” she said.
“But sometimes it’s a structure thing. Sometimes it depends on what positions we’ve got and where we want to play and how many talls we want.
“It’s worked out that it’s worked in my favour this week that I can get out and have a run-around. But, it’s been really impressive what the girls have put together.
“I hope to be able to jump in on some of that and play my role.”