K rock Football

Cats blow out cobwebs

THE scoreline may look disappointing, but the final margin was of little concern to Geelong VFL coach Shane O’Bree.

The Cats first pre-season hit-out culminated in a 49-point loss to Essendon, however O’Bree said there was plenty to take away from Central Reserve in Colac.

“I think the squad we had today, there was a fair few young guys playing their first ever VFL game probably a dozen guys playing their first Geelong VFL game. It was good to get it out of the way,” he said.

“All the things we’ve been during the pre-season with structures and attack and defence, when it comes to the real stuff you’ve got to do it 10 seconds quicker than what you do at training.

“So, it was good for the boys to realise it’s a bit higher intensity than what GFL is.

“And from an AFL perspective, I thought our boys that did play tried to implement everything they’ve been working on over the pre-season.”

Rookie Jack Henry found himself playing at both ends of the ground and played arguably one of his best games.

“He impacted both in the air and on the ground, and his intensity and intent all day was really good,” O’Bree said.

“I thought Jordan Murdoch, his mindset and his leadership today, really shone through.

“His impact around the contest; I thought he was really hard at the ball and won a lot of 50-50 contests for us and looked dangerous when he got out.

The second of the Cats’ three practice matches is against Round 1 opponent Werribee at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.

That will be the last chance for those without a contract for 2018 to push their case to secure one of the four remaining spots.

“We’ll give a lot of opportunities to VFL boys next week, so they’re trying to cement a spot in the VFL team going into the last practice match and Round 1,” O’Bree said.

“It’s still good for us to go through the vision and keep teaching them and helping each other out.”

One of those hopefuls is South Barwon defender Jay Lever.

However, he may miss the meeting with the Tigers after suffering a shoulder injury that resulted him ending the day with his arm in a sling.

Twitter: @tom_king79

GEELONG 2.0, 6.2, 6.2, 6.9 (45)

ESSENDON 5.3 8.3, 12.9, 14.10 (94)

Goals; Geelong: F. House, R. Abbott, W. Buzza, L. Noble, S. Dobson, J. Murdoch

Best; Geelong: J. Murdoch, J. Henry, R. Abbott, L. Noble, B. Reid, C. Floyd