GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11: Geelong players run out before the round 10 AFLW match between the Geelong Cats and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at GMHBA Stadium on March 11, 2022 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )

The Cats impressed few throughout the season, failing to reach any great heights, but showed glimpses of future promise throughout.

Some positives shined through to take the heat off some particularly bad losses, such as an 0.9 outing against the Saints, but the young talent at Geelong still needs some time before the club can be considered a finals contender.

With a new coach at the helm and a rather inexperienced mix of players, Geelong's 2022 season never seemed like it would be a particularly memorable one, but a strong midfield unit gave Cats fans something to smile about across the ten round season.

Season Finish: 12th
Record: 2-8

2022 Season snapshot

Geelong had a rocky 2022, hints of form peaked throughout their brief campaign, but ultimately the club struggled in their fourth season. Finishing in 12th position, just above St Kilda on percentage, with just two wins, the Cats realised pre-season expectations rather quickly.

Their two wins were hard fought, coming against West Coast in Round 5 (3 points) and in Round 8 against Richmond (23 points), though a low point came against the struggling Saints when the Cats were held goalless throughout the match. The Round 9 game, a nine point loss, was a forgettable one. The Cats kicked 0.9 across the four quarters and fell victim to their own inaccuracy, costing themselves what could have been a handy win to seperate them from the bottom two.

Amy McDonald starred once again, while new recruit Georgie Prespakis impressed in her debut season, while other midfielders Becky Webster and Nina Morrison performed admirably in an otherwise disappointing season.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: Nina Morrison of the Cats in action against Ebony O'Dea of the Magpies during the 2022 AFLW Round 03 match between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies at GMHBA Stadium on January 21, 2022 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Star player: Amy McDonald 

McDonald starred in 2021 and seemingly carried over that form into 2022 with ease. The 24-year-old featured in all ten games for the Cats this season, averaging 19 disposals and 8.1 disposals a game, including a 14 tackle effort against North Melbourne in Round 1.

The hardworking ball-winner claimed her maiden win in Geelong's best and fairest last year and looks the favourite heading into the 2022 count. At the W Awards night, McDonald was the highest polling Cat, finishing the night with eight votes, six more than her next polling Cats teammates.

Playing in a two-win team, McDonald injected touches of class with her classy disposal and consistent effort, a valuable asset for a floundering Cats outfit.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29: Amy
McDonald of the Cats makes a run during the round four AFLW match between the Brisbane Lions and the Geelong Cats at Maroochydore AFC on January 29, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Breakout player: Georgie Prespakis

Prespakis showed why she was so highly rated as a junior immediately upon her debut for the Cats. The 19-year-old's first game was one for the record books, racking up 20 disposals, six tackles and seven clearances in Geelong's narrow 8-point loss to the Kangaroos.

The remainder of the season was consistent from the No.2 draft pick, averaging 13.3 disposals and 6.8 tackles across her ten games. Nominated for the Rising Star award for her Round 1 efforts, Prespakis ultimately finished fourth in the count after Carlton's Mimi Hill claimed the title.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29: Georgie Prespakis of the Cats kicks during the round four AFLW match between the Brisbane Lions and the Geelong Cats at Maroochydore AFC on January 29, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Positives

The midfield

The midfield was the well oiled cog in the Cats machine, working well together and creating opportunities in the forward line, where their efforts were ultimately let down. Led by McDonald, Morrison and Webster alongside the young Prespakis, the midfield group was dynamic, exciting and talented.

The side conceded the least centre clearances of any team in the competition (3.8 per game) and consistently drove the ball forward, though did struggle in the ruck, averaging just 18.6 hitouts per game this season, the second least in the competition.

Chloe Sheer was more than serviceable in the forward line, kicking eight goals, but the new recruits efforts weren't enough to turn the tide in favour of the Cats despite the possession coming in through the centre of the ground.

Heading into the future, Cats fans have plenty to be excited about with this midfield unit.

Negatives

Fade outs

A consistent theme with those occupying the bottom rungs of the ladder this season, the absence of a solid four quarter effort. Geelong were no strangers to this wave of inconsistency, finding themselves fading out of games when they were still there to be won.

Coupled with the aforementioned issues in the forward 50, it was no surprise that the Cats registered some of the lowest scores throughout the competition this season. Round 9 against the Saints was their lowest registered score, kicking 0.9, but their final score rarely seemed to climb far higher than this margin for most of the season, only kicking over 25 points on just two occasions.

Issues in the forward line and also in the ruck - the Cats averaged just 18.6 hitouts per game, can be fixed, but Geelong's fade outs seem to be a consequence of a developing team still trying to gain confidence in the league, an issue hopefully long gone before the first bounce of season seven.

Season Grade: D

The Cats didn't perform well across the season by any means. Being held goalless in Round 9 among some other poor performances means Geelong can't be given a pass mark, however, with pre-season expectations placing the Cats squarely on the bottom of the ladder, exceeding these (albeit low) expectations can be considered an overall positive for the club.