K rock Football

Cam’s enjoying the journey

Geelong midfielder Cam Guthrie will play game 150 on Saturday night. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

CAM Guthrie has labelled wearing the Hoops a privilege ahead of his 150th game for Geelong.

The 26-year-old will bring up the milestone as the Cats look to end its post-bye bogey with a win over Port Adelaide at Adelaide on Saturday night.

“It is an environment where I feel really well looked after, all the way from (CEO) Brian Cook at the top down to the coaches and the playing group,” Guthrie said.

“We have got a lot of good people here who I really enjoy spending time with and getting to work with, and we have some high goals, and you don’t always reach those, but I think the longer you go on people always say ‘appreciate the journey’.

“You don’t get to understand that until you’re in my position in my ninth season and you have seen a fair few players come and go.

“So I do feel privileged to put on the jumper each week and get to work.”

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Drafted with pick No.23 in the 2010 National Draft from the Calder Cannons, the Sunbury product did enough in his first pre-season to debut in the opening round of the 2011 season, against St Kilda at the MCG.

He also played the following week against Fremantle at Subiaco Oval, which would be his last appearance at AFL level until the season opener in 2012.

Despite managing just those two games in his rookie year, Guthrie was grateful for the chance to play in a star-studded team that would go on and win a third premiership in five years.

“We had a couple of retirements at the end of that year,” he recalled.

“But, I got to play with guys like ‘Scarlo’ (Matthew Scarlett), ‘Boris’ (Corey Enright), Joel Corey, ‘Otto’ (Brad Ottens), Darren Milburn, Moons (Cam Mooney) who will go down as legends of the game.”

Guthrie has been close to a grand final appearance, featuring in preliminary final losses in 2013 and 2016 (he was injured in 2017).

He says it’s hard to compare the form of those teams with that of today’s team, which is looking for a ninth consecutive win for the first time since starting 2011 with 13 straight victories.

“But we’re just focussing on winning football games and not looking too much at the ladder like people outside (the club),” he said.

“And a high position on the ladder doesn’t guarantee anything come finals time.

“Hopefully we can put ourselves in a good position come finals.

“Then it’s a whole new ball game – everyone’s on a similar playing field.”

Guthrie has spent time in various roles across the field during his first 149 games, showing his versatility as a small defender and lockdown midfielder at various times.

For now, he is comfortable playing his part in one of the competition’s best midfield groups.

“You’ve got to be adaptable as a footballer – to do with personnel (changes), which can be anything from injuries to match-ups and that kind of thing,” he said.

“At the moment, I feel our midfield group really knows what is expected of each other.

“Our roles are really clear, which is really good. (Assistant coach) Matthew Knights has been really good in meetings in letting us know what’s required at this level.

“Going into this week will be much the same for me. I’m looking forward to getting out there and keeping the train moving.”

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