MADDY McMahon has been relishing the opportunity to challenge herself against some of the AFLW’s best after nullifying star Carlton forward Darcy Vescio in helping to steer the Cats to a five-point victory against Blues on Saturday afternoon at GMHBA Stadium.
The former basketballer and netballer is thriving in her first season at AFLW level, having been signed by the Cats as a rookie after impressing at VFL level in 2018.
McMahon has looked right at home at the game’s highest level, with coach Paul Hood full of praise for her effort against Carlton.
“As a mother-of-three in her first season of AFLW, to come in and play on Darcy Vescio and do the job that she did tonight, these amazing stories are just so good for our game,” Hood said.
“That someone as busy as Maddy can pull a performance out like that in front of thousands at GMHBA Stadium, it’s brilliant”.
Despite being handed the task of playing on some of the league’s biggest names each week, McMahon goes out there with just one goal in mind – to make a contest.
“I found out on Thursday night, but I don’t like to think about it too much because then I overthink it,” McMahon said.
“I didn’t really watch much vision, I just went out there and tried to make a contest”.
McMahon’s role as a key pillar in the Cats defence has proved pivotal in their two home games at GMHBA stadium so far, with both games going down to the wire.
“I feel comfortable in defence, and I’ve been put in different positions, which I’ve enjoyed,” she said.
What makes McMahon’s success all the more remarkable is that last year was her first season of football since playing under-11s, making her debut for Geelong’s VFLW side in Round 1.
Her versatility meant that she was used all around the ground, rotating often through the ruck and the forward line before eventually settling in defence.
Her hard work and determination were rewarded with a third-place finish in the Cats’ best-and-fairest.
McMahon averaged 14.1 disposals, 2.7 marks and 12 hitouts per game, and her VFLW form has certainly transferred to this year’s AFLW season.
Despite her stellar efforts down back, the Cats have had some close finishes in recent weeks.
McMahon conceded she was “a bit nervous” after the Blues mounted a comeback in the third quarter, and the Cats defence was again under siege.
“I thought as a group we held up really well in the last half considering the pressure we were under,” she said.
“I thought we put pressure on from the start.”
“As a group, we were focusing on (applying pressure) after last week because we’ve had quarters where we didn’t pressure as much as we would have liked.”
“We wanted to start off with that from the beginning. I thought we did that in the first half and it put us in good stead for the (rest of the) game.”
“I’m just really proud of the girls.”