Sport

Webster makes half-back flank her own in VFLW Team of the Year

By Meg Saultry

Becky Webster has capped her first year in the AFL system in style, named on the half-back flank in the VFL Women’s Team of the Year at this year’s best-and-fairest awards after a stellar winter season with Geelong’s VFLW team.

Following her debut season in the AFL Women’s competition last summer, the 18-year-old has continued her football education with the Cats' VFLW squad as it continues to build momentum towards next season.

It was a move further into the midfield that had the Benalla product granted more opportunity in a young Cats' line-up, with Webster finishing with 214 disposals (112 contested) and 41 clearances in 13 matches for the Cats — including in their elimination final loss to Melbourne Uni earlier this month.

Despite her impressive stats this season, as well as an invitation to VFLW's night of nights, Webster said it was still a bit of a surprise to make the squad.

“I did play a lot of the season, but I wasn’t expecting to make the team,” she said.

After lining up in defence in her four AFLW matches this year, a longer VFLW season as well as more flexibility with roles had Webster cement herself as one of Geelong’s best young talents.

“It was really enjoyable to play more games and having more opportunity on the ball, I found myself more in the contest,” she said.

“For me, it was about getting to each contest and trying to impact and read that ball.”

A strong finish to Geelong’s season (sixth, 8-6) gave Webster a double dose of football finals experience (with Geelong's AFLW team also making finals), though the Cats couldn’t get over the first hurdle earlier this month, out in the first week after a 13-point loss to a North Melbourne-affiliated Melbourne Uni side.

“We were able to the build over the year and to be able to make finals was really cool,” Webster said.

“We couldn’t get over the line.

“But it’s super exciting for the upcoming year and AFLW season.”

Though AFLW players haven’t yet been given an official start date for pre-season, Webster said she expected to be back on board by mid-November.

But until then, she’s looking to make the most of her off-season after a whirlwind year.

“I’m relaxing while I can, chilling and hopefully will get back home a bit and just looking to the AFLW season,” she said.

With Webster one of two Geelong players to make this year's VFLW Team of the Year, alongside teammate Amy McDonald on the interchange, the selection will bode well for her chances at Geelong's best-and-fairest awards to be held later this month.

But when asked if she saw herself a chance to take home some more silverware, Webster remained relatively coy.

“I’m not too sure,” she said.

“We’ll have to wait and see.”