K rock Football

Clarity for the Cats

Harry Taylor leaves GMHBA Stadium following his 250th game. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG premiership defender Harry Taylor is confident three weeks will be enough for teams to prepare for Round 2 of the AFL season

The AFL confirmed on Thursday afternoon a June 11 resumption date, which will be 81 days after the season was shutdown.

“It gives us a bit of clarity in terms of what our training needs to be between now and the date to play – in terms of what we need to get in from a workload point of view.”

“It always takes a little bit of time, just reading the flight of the ball, your real touch and feel with kicking and disposal does take a little bit of time to get back, but I think everyone is going to be in the same boat.”

“It might not be to the level we would normally expect come September or a normal finals campaign, but hopefully it will be at a level that will allow us to compete really well and for the Cats sake win some games of footy.”

While players have been able to train in pairs during the shutdown, the veteran defender has chosen to get kilometres under his belt solo – a tactic he has often used throughout his career.

“[I’m] just trying in some ways to make it even more painful if that makes sense,” he said.

“Training by myself with the watch just so when we had the chance to get back into pairs or small groups you get even more excited or motivated; that’s generally how I approach my offseason,”

With the 2020 season a modified version of its usual self, perhaps the biggest visual change will be empty stadiums, with Taylor admitting the fan-less Round 1 experience was “different”.

“I definitely think it will have an impact on some players, maybe a lot of players. It’s something we are going to have to get used to for a period of time.

“Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we are going to be able to play in front of crowds and people who love footy and
love coming to watch and I think a lot of players love entertaining people.”

“We are just going to have imagine people are there or if that was something that motivated you to think about people sitting on their couch jumping up and down, yelling at the umpires, yelling at the opposition, all those types of things.”

It was hard to keep the smile off Taylor’s face with the realisation that the bounce of the ball is just around the corner, with the Cats set to launch another assault on the Top 8. – even if it means he will be one year older.

“The first thing I thought of was my birthday which is June 12 which means my 34th birthday is coming up a lot quicker than I probably wanted it to,” Taylor said with a laugh.

“Three-and-a-half weeks doesn’t seem like a long time, but I think it will be enough for us to really dive back in, get what we need to do before that second round.

“Everyone is going to be in the same boat anyway so if you are a little bit underprepared than I’m sure everyone
else will be in a similar situation.”

Twitter: @KanePitman