AFLW names All-Australian team, with 11 first-time nominees including St Kilda star Caitlin Greiser
Caitlin Greiser says she could never have predicted the impact she had in her AFLW debut year.
In the space of one coronavirus-shortened season, the former junior soccer talent emerged as St Kilda’s new cult hero.
Now she has been honoured as the best at her position in the league’s All-Australian squad.
Greiser also a nickname to match her status, with the “G-Train” moniker passed down from former Saints men’s star Fraser Gehrig.
The pair have never met, but are now inextricably linked at Moorabbin as All-Australian full-forwards in years when have they topped their respective competition’s goal-kicking tally.
Greiser matched Gehrig’s 2004 AFL feat when she was named in the women’s 2020 representative team on Monday night.
“It was pretty unexpected, but I’m rapt that I got selected and really honoured,” Greiser said.
“I hope everyone’s alright with me having it, but I love it and it makes me push harder to keep doing my best.”
Armed with a booming kick, Greiser burst onto the scene with 10 goals in her debut season.
The 21-year-old’s league-best tally included a three-goal haul against Richmond and multiple majors on four separate occasions.
The stunning performance came less than three years after Greiser turned down a college soccer scholarship in the United States and switched sports.
“I wanted to kick some goals for the team, but it wasn’t about winning (the leading goalkicker award),” Greiser said.
“It was just about doing my best and getting the Saints to the best position we could be in.
“I’m grateful that the girls were able to get the ball down to me and I was able to get a couple through the sticks.”
Greiser was St Kilda’s only representative in the All-Australian team and one of 11 first-time selections, along with fellow young stars Isabelle Huntington (Western Bulldogs) and Olivia Purcell (Geelong).
Karen Paxman (Melbourne) and Emma Kearney (North Melbourne) maintained perfect records, having been selected in the All-Australian team at the end of all four women’s seasons to date.
AFLW best-and-fairest favourites Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne) and Madison Prespakis (Carlton) were also picked, along with much-improved former netball star Sharni Layton (Collingwood).
Of the preliminary finalists, Melbourne, North Melbourne and Carlton each had three representatives in the All-Australian team.
Fremantle had two representatives — the same number as Adelaide and Collingwood — after winning all seven games before the season was cancelled last month because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Richmond and West Coast were the only teams not to have a representative in the final 21-player team.