K rock Football

Skipper a fan of Fort

Geelong ruck Darcy Fort at training on Friday morning. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

JOEL Selwood has become the latest to sing the praises of mature-age draftee Darcy Fort.

The Geelong captain has been impressed by what he’s seen from the 25-year-old since arriving at GMHBA Stadium after impressing with SANFL club Central Districts.

“(He’s a) competitor, (a) good athlete, he just really wants to take his chance,” Selwood said of the South Barwon product.

“(He’s) 25, he doesn’t want to let any more time go by.”

Selwood says the battle for the No.1 ruck spot remains open just five weeks out from the Cats first official game of 2019, a JLT Series clash with reigning premier West Coast in Perth on March 1.

“It’s on the line; there’s no one really standing out, and that’s the challenge for the boys leading up to those games.

“Between Rhys (Stanley) and Darc and Zac (Smith), there’s a challenge on hand.

“Then Ryan’s (Abbott) come back – he’s been on the backburner with a sore back to start pre-season.

“Ryan’s probably lagging behind the others purely because he hasn’t done the work, (and) Zac’s a little bit of the same case.

“Probably Darc and Rhys are in front.”

Melbourne Storm captain Cam Smith and Geelong skipper Joel Selwood at GMHBA Stadium. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

Selwood fronted the media alongside Melbourne Storm NRL captain Cameron Smith at GMHBA Stadium.

The Storm has been in a training camp at Geelong Grammar for the past fortnight and will play a trial match in Geelong against the New Zealand Warriors on February 22.

Selwood says there are plenty of benefits to sharing information between the codes.

“We’ve been lucky that we’ve been involved with Storm for a while,” Selwood said. “Our coaches have mixed with their coaches a lot. (The) footy departments have spoken over the journey, too.

“We’re quite lucky that they’re in our backyard for two weeks; it would be silly not to catch up and have the conversation.

“We admire the Storm and how they win. If we put it simply, each year they come out, they give themselves a chance to really be there right at the end.

“It’s led by Cam and Craig (Bellamy). But the way they’ve been able to flip their list – and we’ve done a similar thing – the last five years, and they’re still right up there.

“That’s something we really admire about them.”

Meanwhile, Selwood revealed the Cats will play a practice match against North Melbourne ahead of the JLT Series.

It is believed the match-up with the Roos will be around the final weekend of February and be played at Deakin University.

Click below to listen to the full media conference with Joel Selwood and Cam Smith.

Twitter: @tom_king79