K rock Football

Cheese backs Narkle to spark Cats

Quinton Narkle in action during Geelong’s VFL win over the Northern Blues.. (Geelong Cats Media/Arj Giese)

YOUNG livewire Quinton Narkle is ready to add some much-needed spark for Geelong if called up to take on Sydney at the SCG this week.

And fellow midfielder Sam Menegola could also return to bolster Cats side that is clinging to top spot on the ladder despite having lost three of its past five matches.

The West Australian pair were Geelong’s best contributors in the narrow VFL win over Casey Demons on Saturday.

Narkle has gradually built his form and fitness in four games at VFL level since overcoming a hamstring injury and played his best game of the season at Casey Fields.

The 21-year-old speedster was everywhere, registering 31 disposals, six clearances, six inside-50s and seven score involvements.

He also kicked two crucial second-half goals, including the major that put Geelong in front for the first time in the match early in the final term.

“You saw the attributes that he’s got,” Cats VFL coach Shane O’Bree said.

“He’s starting to really impact on games and he’s feeling fit and strong.

“He’s doing more of what we want to see him doing and kicked two critical goals, which is pleasing.”

Narkle has not played an AFL match since breaking through for his first six games in the second half of last year but could be the X-factor the Cats need to rise out of their slump.

Fringe players Tom Atkins and James Parsons are among those in danger of losing their spots.

Strong-bodied onballer Menegola would be a welcome inclusion after excelling in his first game back at VFL level following knee surgery that had kept him out of action since early May.

“He’s ticked that first game off and he played more than enough game time than what we needed,” O’Bree said.

“His touch was good, so we’ll get another training week into and see if he comes into consideration this week or in weeks to come.

“He’s done a massive training block, so he’s right to go whenever.”

Ruckman Ryan Abbott could also come into contention for a senior call-up after amassing 50 hit-outs in a dominant display against Casey.

Lachie Fogarty, Charlie Constable, Scott Selwood and Sam Simpson were all strong contributors in the midfield rotation alongside Narkle and Menegola.

Twitter: @shayne_hope