19/05/2024

Geelong celebrating the win over Essendon. (Photo: @catswomens/twitter)

Geelong has had a strong AFLW season seven so far, with a strong run of recent form seeing the club make it three wins in a row. Connection has played a massive role in the side’s strong form.

The Cats were able to rebound off a loss against North Melbourne back in Round 4 to put together a remarkable past three weeks.

Speaking exclusively to The Inner Sanctum, new recruit Mikayla Bowen said that the Cats’ ability to maintain a strong connection between the midfield and forward line has changed immensely.

“I think if anything, it’s just been our ability to score and also connect with our forward line really well,” Bowen told The Inner Sanctum.

“Obviously our backline is extremely solid I personally feel, and [we’ve been] able to understand our role as a backline group, midfield group and forward group and individually as well.

“There’s just a lot of clarity around what we’re doing on the park at the moment, and being able to translate that onto field and even in front of goal was really positive.”

Playing a strong role in Geelong’s strong run of form is forward Chloe Scheer, who has provided the Cats a strong presence up forward. This included a strong three goal performance against Essendon last week.

Bowen said having Scheer in her best form has given the side some extra confidence when bringing the ball into the forward line.

“Chloe in herself is such an incredible talent, and I was saying to one of my teammates in the car, she makes herself seem like she’s six foot although she’s only a tad taller than me,” Bowen laughed.

“She’s just she’s so solid in the air. I think if anything gives her more confidence just knowing that there’s so many other girls in the forward line as well that have the capability of doing that.

“Chloe’s just blowing the roof off the last couple games, and hopefully we can get her up to that as well this weekend. It’s nice to know that we’ve got consistency amongst the group and we’re able to load it off to each player.”

Another player who has been a key cog in the Cats forward line is former Demon Shelley Scott. While from the outside looking in she’s been a key contributor to the Cats, Bowen says that her impact extends beyond what fans can see.

“Shelley has been incredible in so many aspects, I think on the field what the media and the fan base sees is just incredible in itself,” she explained.

“I think as a player and being part of the playing group, you just see another side where she brings so much experience, so much humility. There’s so much knowledge that she’s been able to take from her previous years and obviously had an incredible career at Melbourne.

“I think if anything the competition just underestimate how good she actually is. Although she’s a bit older, she’s still got so much in the tank.

“Whether we put her back, in the middle or forward, she’s solid in her role and we really appreciate that about her.”

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Just like Scott, Bowen is a new addition to the club this season after making the move from West Coast. While the move from her home state was difficult, she’s loving her time at Geelong.

“It’s just been incredible. Every time I get asked, I get this wave of emotion because it really is just life changing for me personally,” she said.

“It’s a pretty big move to come away from WA and also somewhere that I’ve grown up and been around my whole life, but I think just everything has just been made so much more worth it being over here.

“The girls are beautiful, the club’s beautiful, and I was just speaking before about how nice it is to be a part of a club where the men’s and women’s are so connected.

“Obviously having the men perform the way that they did this season obviously was huge for us and we were able to take that momentum, you know, because of how close we are with the group as well.

“So, it’s been awesome I’m absolutely loving it. I get cold every now and then, but other than that the footy’s incredible and I’m really looking to stick around for a long time.”

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Round 8 is Pride Round in the AFLW, with the league celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.

While it’s such a special round for Bowen and the Cats, she is looking forward to when society gets to a place where recognition of the LGBTQIA+ community goes beyond just one special weekend.

“I think you’ll probably hear that from most clubs that you speak to in terms of everyone that’s part of Pride Round,” she explained.

“Being able to wear a Pride guernsey… it means so much not only to the competition, but to the group and to the community as well.

“It represents something bigger than just football… being able to wear a guernsey that you can look down on and touch base on the field and remember what you’re playing for and who you’re playing for.

“I love Pride Round, but hope one day we don’t actually need one because society is just how it should be. It’s incredible and super excited for all teams that’ll be competing this weekend.”

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