Muswellbrook vying for Mother’s Day win
BY ALEX TIGANI
Mother’s Day has come a few weeks early for the Muswellbrook Cats.
Despite a one sided 17.14 (116) to 0.0 (0) defeat to the Port Stephens Power on Saturday, the inclusion of Elise Hagan marked the return of five new mothers into the line-up.
Any signs of sorrow were replaced with emotions of joy post-match when Elise and daughter Tullie joined Cats Samantha Paterson, Natalie Heard, Elia Barnett and captain Andrew Watts and their respective babies for an adorable group photo.
“Our club is such a close club and we have got such a good bunch of girls,” Captain Andrea Watts told The Hunter River Times.
The Cats’ women were unable to participate in the 2020 AFL Hunter Central Coast season before returning the following year to celebrate wins over The Entrance Bateau Bay, Terrigal Avoca and Nelson Bay/Port Stephens.
Defeats to Gosford, Cardiff and Wallsend – West Newcastle were also determined by five points or less therefore there was plenty of upside in the team.
Once again, the line-up was unable to participate in season 2022 given many key players were unavailable due to the arrivals of their new borns.
“With so many out not being able to play last year, there were a few of us that were really keen to get back in,” Watts reflected.
“Most of the girls started pre-season training with everyone and we would bring the kids along and the kids would sit down and watch while we had a kick.
“The other girls around were great because they would entertain the kids if they ever got upset or anything like that.”
Fitness remained the theme for group as ball drills at Weeramen Fields were matched by gruelling CrossFit sessions alongside the men’s squad.
The Muswellbrook women were mentally and physically fit enough to take to the field again and four of the mother’s travelled to Rose Point Park in March for trial games against the Singleton Roosterettes and Gunnedah Bulldogs.
Prior to Saturday, the Cats showed improvement from their season opening 7.10 (52) to 2.3 (15) defeat to The Entrance Bateau Bay when going down to Maitland 2.6 (18) to 2.1 (13).
“Knowing that no one played last year we are in that regrouping phase,” Watts added.
“Every opportunity that we get on the field we are improving, we are working together and we are supporting one another.
The eighth placed line-up will play host to the seventh placed Killarney Vale this Saturday at 1pm before travelling to Adcock Park next week to play the winless Gosford Tigers.
One question remains. Will the Cats’ tiny new recruits join their mothers in the circle should the Cats celebrate their first win?
“They will definitely be in our winning circle if we get the chance,” she concluded.