A FRESH Geelong forward line and feeling comfortable in her surrounds is working beautifully for Jackie Parry, who's in career-best form.
The key forward has kicked eight goals from her four matches, already double her previous best total of four from 11 games back in 2021 while playing for Melbourne.
Parry's been working closely with new Irish recruit Aishling Moloney and All-Australian Chloe Scheer, forming a potent trio that's seen the Cats raise their average score by 20 this season.
"We put a bit of work into it this pre-season, we've managed to connect really well and connect with the midfield. It's really enjoyable," Parry told afl.com.au.
"It's really great, because [Moloney] adds a bit of height to the forward line as well, so it takes a bit of pressure off me to get to every aerial contest. I think the two of us work really well together.
"It's always good to work tightly with Chloe, she's an unbelievable player. Part of it is movement, so hopefully I'm not sitting in the goal-square all the time and I'm getting a little further up the ground. But the three of us in Aish, Chloe and myself are really enjoying working together."
Parry made the switch from the Dees to the Cats ahead of season seven last year, and has enjoyed not being the "new girl" in 2023.
An accountant, she still lives in Melbourne – albeit in the western suburbs (the Geelong side of the city) – as she works in the CBD and enjoys being able to both bury her head in a spreadsheet and run around an oval.
"I'm really enjoying the team and the role I can play in the team. Last year, off the back of a pretty short off-season, it was probably a little more challenging to find my feet. So now off the back of a longer off-season, I've been able to work with Dan (Lowther, coach) on things such as my marking and goalkicking," Parry said.
"Your first season at a new club, you're spending a lot of your time getting to know the girls and the staff, making your way around the facilities. This pre-season, I was able to hit the ground running, I knew everyone, I knew the system, I knew everyone's strengths, so I could just do the work rather than the extra stuff.
"It's been a mental reset after some time off, so it's hopefully been on display a bit, my work in the off-season."
Parry played some junior football with Prahran while growing up in Melbourne, but primarily focused on soccer. She attended Australian National University in Canberra to study finance, which is where she picked up the game again.
She played 22 games in three seasons with Melbourne before crossing to Geelong for more opportunities, and will be facing her former side on Thursday night.
"It'll be interesting coming up against the old side, they're obviously a very good team. I think we'll focus on our brand of footy and seeing how that goes. They're obviously very clean, they've worked together for a long time and they're undefeated, but I think we're really looking forward to the challenge," Parry said.
"If you'd asked me last year, I would have said playing them was daunting. But this year, I'm really excited, I know the backs there really well, so hopefully I can use that to my advantage – but same goes for them, they know me pretty well, so I'm sure they'll be thinking the exact same thing.
"Some time has passed. I'm more settled at Geelong now, I love it here, so I get to go out with my teammates, who are like family now. I'm really looking forward to it."