K rock Football

Cats keen on uncapped trio

Tom Stewart is a chance to make his AFL debut against Fremantle.
(krockootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

GEELONG coach Chris Scott has confirmed Brandan Parfitt, Tom Stewart and rookie Zach Guthrie are “in the frame” to make their AFL debuts in Sunday’s opening round clash with Fremantle at Domain Stadium.

Stewart and Parfitt played all three JLT Community Series matches for the Cats, while a slight knee issue meant Guthrie didn’t play against Essendon, however he impressed in a VFL practice match against a Bombers outfit that contained 15 AFL-listed players last Friday.

When asked if all three would be in the 25-man squad Geelong names on Thursday night, Scott replied “I think so”.

“(But), as I’ve said before, I find it really hard to give any certainty as this time of the week.

“So “if I think so” is a good enough answer, I’ll run with that.”

With Cory Gregson placed on the long-term injury list on Monday, the door has been opened for Guthrie to cap a meteoric rise.

However, Scott was making no guarantees when pressed on whether the teenager would be elevated off the rookie list.

“No … but it doesn’t mean he won’t be,” he said.

Carlton recruit Zach Tuohy is almost certain to give Geelong one new face, as life begins without club games record-holder Corey Enright and fellow 300 club member Jimmy Bartel.

Those list changes are reflected in the style of football the Cats will play in 2017.

“We’re in a constant state of evolution,” Scott said.

“The way we played that was successful 3-4 years ago is different to the way we played last year, which was relatively successful as well.

“As with every team, there is flaws in the way we play, and we try rectify them in the planning as much as possible.

“But, unfortunately, there is also the execution piece as well. Best laid plans can often go awry.

“We’re aware of some our execution errors and we’ve adjusted our planning a little bit based on that.

“But the fundamentals of our game are still going to be pretty similar.”

Scott Selwood (toe) and Jake Kolodjashnij (groin) remain sidelined but have both “turned the corner” according to the coach.

Scott says Selwood had trained well before the injury took over.

“He’s had a super pre-season, and just at the death, got a bit of a sore foot, unrelated to his previous ankle injury,” Scott said.

“That’ll hold him up for maybe another couple of weeks. He’s on track to play Round 3, but it’s a little hard to get certainty on it.”

Kolodjashnij has struggled to get any consistency in his pre-season after being sidelined with glandular fever when the players returned in November, which was followed by lingering groin soreness.

“He’s done a fair amount of work, but hasn’t been able to get final five or 10 per cent in intensity,” Scott said.

“Disappointing for us that he’s not available because he is someone we have earmarked to help transition our slightly ageing defensive group.

“Hopefully he’ll be right to play in the early weeks of the season.”

Twitter: @tom_king79