Connect with us

2010 cheat sheet

Bomber’s final flight: Cats pre-draft

Cats pre-draft

As part of a club-by-club series, we look at Mark Thompson’s push for one last flag with his stable of stars.

Geelong Training Session

Live selections: 17, 28, 40, 42, 56
Rookie promotion selections: 65 (Jeremy Laidler)

There was only going to be one hole in Geelong’s depth charts this year, as the rest of the list is still in that pact to push for one more flag. It became clear fairly early this season that Matthew Egan‘s career was over, sad as that may have been. The Cats were at least able to send off captain Tom Harley with another premiership, but he has also retired, and with the Cats dropping Dan McKenna their tall defender stocks have been halved. You could argue that Andrew Mackie is tall enough to play key position, though he rarely does so and the Cats don’t want him to anyway. You could contend that despite his sub-190cm size Darren Milburn could be used at times to mind the third tall, but when he was asked to do that in 2009 he was exploited on the odd occasion to devastating effect. No, the Cats have only retained Matthew Scarlett and Harry Taylor as genuine homegrown tall backs, with Tom Gillies the only cover after being blooded for six games out of the last eight home & away matches of the season just gone.

This means that the recruitment of Marcus Drum from Fremantle becomes very important to the Cats’ structure in 2010. With no picks until #17 in this year’s draft, they are unlikely to find another Taylor type who can immediately slot in to support the big stars. That’s not to say that they won’t try, but keep in mind that despite their willingness to throw Taylor into the deep end two years ago, they were much more reluctant this year with the likes of McKenna and Gillies. Keep an eye on the promoted rookie Laidler, though, who despite being a midfielder/forward spent his one senior game in 2009 minding James Polkinghorne, which is a third tall back role if I ever saw it.

Elsewhere in the Geelong depth charts, it may be a little unfair of the media to harp on the Cats’ lack of pace as I suspect they will do whenever (if?) they get beaten. After all, the Lions flag sides were never particularly pacy. It’s going to be an ongoing issue nevertheless, which may be solved via some of their late picks or rookies like Ranga Ediriwickrama. The history with Brent Prismall two seasons ago and Simon Hogan this year does not instil fantasy coaches with confidence that coach Mark Thompson is going to waste a 22 spot blooding youngsters for the sake of it.



  1. phenom

    November 20, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Don’t see how the lack of Tom Harley and that extra tall will hurt us too much, as we played much of this season without him anyway. It will probably be between Gillies and Drum, depending on pre-season showings. I have always liked the look of Gillies myself.

    We also need to find room for Hunt, whose booming kick ins we have missed.

    I don’t think Geelong lack pace at all. One of the biggest reasons we won the GF was by exposing the ‘aints lack of pace eg. Shannon Byrnes out-running Raph Clarke on multiple occassions.

    And final flight? The Hell is this? I know you hate us Monty, but surely we will be up there for the next 5 years.

  2. m0nty

    November 20, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Age shall weary them, and the years condemn.

  3. phenom

    November 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Frankly I’m surprised you didn’t just go ahead and make a big list of all the Cats gaping flaws, like you seem to like doing so much.

    What about our crumbling ageing backline? Or Thompson freezing under finals pressure? Or our players in the 17-22 range, Kelly, Blake, Varcoe, Taylor etc. going missing?

  4. hibbo

    November 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Phenom – beating Raph Clarke for pace isn’t that hard. The cats aren’t that pacy, but what makes them so good is how quick they can move the ball (always playing on, etc). This basically covers any lack of pace.

    DT wise I see no real geniune mid-priced options, except maybe Hunt, but he has always been more suited to SC. We all know about their premium DT’ers, so not much need in discussing that.

  5. Geoff

    November 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Monty .. our backline looks so much stronger to me in 2010 .. we lose Harley, who has been a great captain but has struggled in recent times .. Egan who hasn’t played for 2 years and McKenna who hasn’t played a senior game .. we gain Hunt back from injury, Gillies who will be a star, Drum who will ‘grow a leg’ in this team, Laidler who will more than cover any injuries and don’t forget Harry has only played 2 season .. don’t think he will improve on his great AFL start ?? .. our backline is in better shape than most of the scribes reckon

  6. m0nty

    November 21, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I agree that it’s time for Taylor’s development to come to fruition, Geoff. He has been exploited as the weakest link in the past but another offseason in the weights room should shore that up. He and/or Drum have to improve this year for the Cats to manage another serious flag tilt, or otherwise they’ll get beaten by teams with two genuine tall forwards.

  7. hibbo

    November 21, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Geoff, what suddenly make Gillies look like he’ll be a star?

  8. Geoff

    November 22, 2009 at 8:36 am

    hibbo I watched him closely during his 6 games this year (ave 10 poss) and I thought he was sensational .. he looked cool, calm and fitted in beautifully to our defensive structure

    He won the B&F at Dandenong as a full back which is quite a feat .. he is the same height as Matty Scarlett but 10kgs lighter .. so I look forward to seeing how he comes out of the gym this year

    It’s always a big call to say that any player will be a star but I think he’ll be something special .. who would have made the same call about Scarlo .. he played 1 game his first year (ave 6 poss) and only 5 his second (ave 3.4 poss)

    Time will tell, you can take me to task if I’m wrong 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in 2010 cheat sheet