K rock Football

Fort to mount AFL return case

Darcy Fort celebrates his first AFL goals with Geelong teammate Cam Guthrie. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

MATURE-age recruit Darcy Fort is one of three AFL-listed players back to bolster Geelong’s VFL side as it attempts to extend its winning streak to three matches.

The Cats have recovered from a slow start to the season with victories over Collingwood and Coburg in the past fortnight.

Another triumph against Footscray at Victoria University Whitten Oval on Sunday would put them within touching distance of the top eight.

Fort kicked three goals on his AFL debut a fortnight ago but was omitted after a quieter display against Gold Coast last week, making way for Esava Ratugolea,

The 25-year-old returns to VFL level against one of his former clubs, having played with the Bulldogs and Werribee in previous state league stints.

Fort, who has kicked eight goals in his past three VFL appearances, will push his case for a return to the senior side as part of a dangerous forward line alongside Nathan Kreuger and Wylie Buzza.

Cats VFL coach Shane O’Bree said Fort would also share ruck duties with experienced teammate Zac Smith.

“Forty has been really impressive,” O’Bree said.

“He had a really good start to the season as a new recruit, and he’s been playing a fair bit of ruck-forward.

“He got the opportunity to play AFL the last couple of weeks, and he’s done a really good job, but just wasn’t able to hold his spot this week.

“I’m sure he’ll come back with the right attitude to keep improving and be a good VFL player to put his hand up for selection next week.”

VFLW CATS: FALCONS IN LINE FOR DEBUT

AFL-listed Ben Jarvis and rookie Zach Guthrie were named as ins for Geelong. However, speedster Quinton Narkle was ruled out after sustaining another hamstring injury last week.

Young gun Charlie Constable will have to pass a fitness test on Friday as he battles a minor groin complaint that saw him sidelined late in the win over Coburg.

“It was just precautionary more than anything because it was a bit of a knock and he couldn’t get up to top speed,” O’Bree said.

“He did a little bit of training on Wednesday, and we’ve still got another training run (on Friday), so he’s still got to pass all those tests to make sure he’s fit to play on the weekend.”

VFL: LISTED CATS GET YOUNG GUNS CALL-UP

Scott Selwood will spend a fifth consecutive week at VFL level as he builds his fitness base on the back of a hamstring injury sustained during pre-season.

The experienced midfielder has not played an AFL match this season but is inching closer to a recall.

Second-placed Footscray is unbeaten in the past month, having won three and drawn one of its matches.

O’Bree said the Bulldogs would present Geelong with a good test.

“They’re pretty slick with their ball movement, and they’ve got a fair few experienced guys in their team who on their day could tear us apart,” O’Bree said.

“We’ve got to be really mindful of those guys and try to control the way they play with their attack.”

Former Geelong player Ryan Gardner is unavailable for Footscray after being called up to the Western Bulldogs squad just days after being granted an AFL career lifeline via the mid-season draft.

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VFL ROUND 9

FOOTSCRAY (2nd) vs. GEELONG (10th)

VU Whitten Oval

Sunday, June 2, 2:00 pm