CATS’ DEPTH CHARGE
Geelong to test list as fixture squeeze looms THURSDAY
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.