Cats sign Irish rookie, two mature-agers ahead of draft

GEELONG has signed Irishwoman Rachel Kearns as a rookie, as well as elevating VFLW products Claudia Gunjaca and Olivia Fuller to its senior list.

As part of its priority package, the Cats were given the ability to sign two mature-age local talents ahead of the NAB AFLW Draft.

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Gunjaca, 23, is vice-captain of the VFLW team and has been a strong performer this year, capable of playing at either end in a key position role.

She won AFL Sydney's Mostyn Medal as the competition's best and fairest in 2019.

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Ruck Fuller is a former basketballer who has represented South Australia in the sport, and while a developing prospect, can also spend time up forward.

The Cats needed to boost their ruck stocks following the retirement of Aasta O'Connor.

Kearns is a multi-talented athlete, with the 24-year-old playing Gaelic football for County Mayo (which has produced players such as Cora Staunton, Sarah Rowe, Aileen Gilroy and Niamh and Grace Kelly) and is also a striker for Galway's soccer team.

Just to add to the mix, she has a background in boxing.

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"Claudia and Olivia made a great impression across the VFLW season, and their perseverance has paid off," Geelong head of women's footy Brett Johnson said.

"Claudia and Olivia are being rewarded for their hard work and talent, and we look forward to them making the most of their opportunity at AFLW level.”

"Rachel is an experienced athlete, her list of achievements speak for themselves. 

"She is well suited to the physicality of AFLW and we see her making a strong contribution."