K rock Football

Golf star’s chat helps Cats

(Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

FORMER Australian golf star Nick O’Hern is receiving some credit for Lara’s vast improvement since Easter.

O’Hern, who was ranked as high as 16 in the world in 2007, spoke to the Cats’ playing group following consecutive 100-point losses to North Shore and South Barwon to open the season.

Since returning from the early season break, Lara’s average losing margin has been 21 points, with only inaccuracy costing it a victory against Grovedale and Geelong West in rounds three and four.

Cats coach Shayne Stone said former golf professional Craig Spence, the brother of club president Chris and the uncle of captain Matt, played a role in O’Hern coming to Bisinella Oval.

“We were talking about what we could do to simplify things, break it down a little bit, and get somebody in to talk about the mental side of sports,” Stone said.

“Craig said he was a good mate of Nick’s, and he was able to come down and talk to the boys.

“It went really well. It related a lot to golf, but it was more around the psyche of sport.

“Especially trying to rebound after the first couple of weeks.”

After running an inaccurate St Joseph’s to 20 points last week, Lara now turns its attention to a match-up with the unbeaten St Mary’s at Bisinella Oval.

“It would have been nice to get a (winning) result coming into this one; you’re just a bit more confident,” Stone said.

“They’re a massive challenge; they’re a great side.

“But, it also gives us an opportunity to continue our growth, make sure it is about effort, and keep the way we’re playing.

“It’s about defending and making it hard for the opposition.”

Lara will be boosted by the return of key defender Dan Weigl, who made his VFL debut for Geelong on Saturday.

Stone said Weigl’s experience would benefit the Cats’ developing defence.

“He’ll be able to bring some defensive principles back over the journey for the rest of this year,” Stone said.

“We probably missed his stability down back on the weekend because we had issues a couple of times trying to get it out (of defence).”

As well as Weigl, Galen Munari and Connor O’Meara are set to return.

However, Lara will have to do without Kane Higgins and Thewin Robertson, while reigning best-and-fairest Aaron Stone is “50/50”

Young ruck Jayson Tomicic is also unlikely to be available.

Twitter: @tom_king79