Geelong to test list as fix­ture squeeze looms THURS­DAY

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - JOSH BARNES

GEELONG will go deep into its list over the next month as it faces the prospect of shorter turn­arounds and a crammed sched­ule.

While the Cats basked in the glow of Thurs­day night’s win over the Bris­bane Lions dur­ing a re­cov­ery ses­sion at Bondi Beach yes­ter­day morn­ing, AFL boss Gil­lon McLach­lan flagged the prospect of play­ing as many as six matches over the next four weeks.

Al­though Geelong picked up two in­juries against the Lions — the club is await­ing scans on ham­string tweaks suf­fered by Mitch Dun­can and Quin­ton Narkle — the Cats are con­fi­dent they have the cat­tle to man­age.

The club has avoided be­ing forced into one change af­ter for­ward Gary Ro­han es­caped with a $1000 fine for a crude bump on Bris­bane’s Ryan Lester in the first quar­ter.

Ro­han was also re­ported for a late hit on Bran­don Starce­vich, but the AFL’s match re­view of­fi­cer Michael Chris­tian took no fur­ther ac­tion for that in­ci­dent.

The Cats be­lieve play­ers who have not been seen since e the game’s restart, such as Jor­dan Clark, Char­lie Con­sta­ble, Lachie Fog­a­rty and Lachie Hen­der­son, are all ca­pa­ble of step­ping up.

The de­ci­sion to take all the play­ing list first to Syd­ney and then to Perth to­day has al­ready paid off, giv­ing the se­lec­tors ev­ery op­tion to pre­pare for what lies ahead.

Geelong as­sis­tant coach Shane O’Bree over­saw Geelong’s scratch match against Colling­wood yes­ter­day.

“As a club, we have al­ways said we are pre­pared to play all the guys on our list if re­quired and the (prac­tice) games we have played, the ma­jor­ity of our play­ers are in good form,” O’Bree said.

“If it does get to the stage over the next six weeks where we are play­ing games on shorter turn­arounds, then we do have guys on our list who are ca­pa­ble of play­ing in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions on the ground and are in good form.”

Cats coach Chris Scott said he was con­fi­dent he had a range of names to call on to do a job when needed.

“There is a fair group of them ac­tu­ally who through no fault of their own found th them­selves out­side of our team at the mo­ment but I sus­pect they will play (this year),” Scott said.

“We thought right at the start of the sea­son it was go­ing to be im­por­tant to have a deep list.

“I think we have got a big group … that are just out­side the team that are think­ing, ‘My chance is go­ing to come’, and that leads to a bit more pos­i­tiv­ity, I think.”

To find mo­ti­va­tion on the train­ing track, the fringe Cats need look no fur­ther than Sam Simp­son, who stepped into the team against the Lions and im­pressed im­me­di­ately.

“There are plenty of boys in that sit­u­a­tion, all those emer­gen­cies who are go­ing re­ally well at the minute,” Simp­son said.

“Hope­fully they come in and take their op­por­tu­nity as well.”


WEL­COME BACK: Sam Simp­son in ac­tion against the Lions.

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