Veteran journalist Mark Robinson has questioned the leadership and overall abilities of AFLW Richmond captain Katie Brennan in a Herald Sun column
In their first AFLW season, the Tigers currently sit last in Conference A having lost their first two games. And Robinson believes Brennan is one source of the club’s current woes.
“Brennan’s leadership, which has helped enable her to receive a high-end contract, was poor,” Robinson wrote following the Tigers 33-22 loss to the Gold Coast on the weekend.
Robinson further questioned Brennan’s performance late into the game when her side looked to rely on her leadership and experience the most.
“At the weekend, with the trailing a motivated Gold Coast by two goals at three-quarter time, Brennan managed just two disposals in the final quarter.”
“Arguably, she’s not in the competition’s best 30 players,” Robinson added. “Small sample, but 275 players have played in the two matches this season… Brennan, the one-time Bulldog who is now the captain of Richmond, is ranked No.100. Her kicking efficiency is 37 per cent; the league average is 52 per cent.”
Brennan has looked to evolve as a bullish onballer with the Tigers after spending a majority of her time with the Bulldogs as a powerful key forward.
She dominated the VFLW as a midfielder with Darebin, winning the league best and fairest before being selected to play for the Bulldogs and moving into the forward 50.
However, Robinson says Brennan hasn’t lived up to the hype that once surrounded her as a headlining star four years ago.
“She could lead strongly, mark and kick a goal, and given space she was electric — and the AFL PR machine loved her” he wrote.
“Four seasons on, a swag of other players can lead, mark and kick goals.
“And in the midfield, Brennan looks slow and sometimes lost compared to the new generation of quick, fit and skilled mids.”
Robinson acknowledged the growth the league has undergone since Brennan’s debut, as the next generation of talent continues to impress early into the 2020 campaign.
“Back in 2017, Brennan was a big fish in a small pond, and so was her new teammate Sabrina Frederick, formerly of the Lions.
“Today the pond is a lake and the fish are plentiful.
“Even Darcy Vescio, the livewire small forward at Carlton, is finding footy tough among this new generation.”
Brennan will lead the Tigers out onto Ikon Park when they play the Kangaroos on Sunday at 3:10pm.