K rock Football

Taylor back via VFL

Geelong veteran Harry Taylor will return from a foot injury via the VFL.. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

DECORATED Geelong defender Harry Taylor will make a rare appearance in the Cats’ VFL side when they take on Port Melbourne in their rescheduled game at Williamstown on Saturday afternoon.

The two-time AFL premiership player and dual All-Australian has been named in the Cats’ squad of 31 for their crucial clash against the Borough.

If he plays, it will be just Taylor’s third appearance at VFL level – and believed to be his first since early in his rookie season at Kardinia Park way back in 2008.

The 232-game veteran has overcome plantar fascia issues and will be looking to build up his game time as he bids to return to AFL level in the second half of the season.

Geelong coach Shane O’Bree said his young AFL-listed and VFL players are making the most of the opportunity to tap into the amount of experience he has at his disposal in the side at the moment.

“It’s great for the team to have someone of Harry’s experience and knowledge (playing alongside them) and also great for Harry to be back playing footy again,” O’Bree told krockfootball.com.au last night.

“Hopefully he only plays one game for us and gets back into the AFL team pretty quickly.”

The Cats have also regained ruckman Zac Smith, who missed last week with back tightness, and promising youngster Charlie Constable while big man Trent McMullan returns for his second match in 2018 as 23rd man.

It will be Constable’s first appearance since he was concussed against Collingwood back in Round 6.

While he quickly recovered from that setback, the versatile midfielder has been put through a solid training block to also prepare him for a busy second half of the year.

As he admitted on K rock’s Fresh Daily earlier in the week, forward Stewart Crameri will miss with an eye injury suffered during the second term of the Cats’ 100-point win over North Melbourne last round.

Geelong’s team will be finalised once the Cats’ AFL side for Sunday’s blockbuster against Richmond is named late Friday afternoon.

The fourth-placed Cats head into the clash against the sixth-placed Borough coming off three consecutive wins and will be looking to consolidate their spot inside the top four heading into their mid-season bye next week.

Just two games separates top side Richmond from the ninth-placed North Melbourne on the VFL ladder as the season reaches its half-way point.

The match was shifted from Port Melbourne to Point Gellibrand after the North Port Oval playing surface was deemed unsafe following an inspection on Thursday. The match will still be televised on Channel 7 from 2pm.

“I was actually looking forward to playing at Port Melbourne. If you play finals you’ve got to play at that ground and it’s a ground you’ve got to experience a few times to understand how to play it,” O’Bree said.

“But we’ve still got a nice challenge ahead of us and it will be a great result if we can win going into the bye.”

Twitter: @GreenBradley

VFL ROUND 11

PORT MELBOURNE (6th) vs. GEELONG (4th)

Williamstown Football Ground

Saturday, June 16, 2:10pm

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