K rock Football

Cats leave options open

Joel Selwood leads the Cats off the Gabba during the season. (AFL Photos Image/Albert Perez)

GEELONG is leaving its options open ahead of Thursday night’s qualifying final clash with Port Adelaide.

Coach Chris Scott revealed on Monday afternoon up to 28 players could make the trip from the Gold Coast to the City of Churches as the Cats look to take the direct route to a fourth preliminary final in five seasons.

“It probably won’t give you a great pointer to exactly who is going to play,” he said.

“But it’s nice to have that luxury where we can at least have cover in a variety of positions.”

Ruck Rhys Stanley (groin) and hardnosed forward/midfielder Tom Atkins are both expected to be on the plane.

Stanley hasn’t played since the win over the Western Bulldogs, with the Cats using Josh Jenkins, Esava Ratugolea and Mark Blicavs in a variety of ruck combinations.

However, he has trained strongly in recent days, giving rise to hope he will be ready to take on the Power combination of Scott Lycett and Pete Ladhams.

“It looks like he will be available,” Scott said. “He looked good today, and he looked good in our weekend session as well.

“We’ve been quite conservative with a few of those guys – he’s certainly in that boat.

“And in my opinion, he probably could have played the last game. But, we held him back a little bit, so we’re confident he’ll be OK.”

Scott, though, couldn’t confirm both would return to the team three days out from the match.

“I don’t want to pre-empt selection too much at this early stage,” he said.

“But it is nice that we seem to have pretty good availability at this stage.

“We are about to sit down with our coaches (Monday afternoon) and go through it one more time … we’ll probably go through it another couple of times before we get to game time.

We always like to our players before we speak publicly about these things, and it’s just too far from game time to be definitive with everyone right at the moment.”

Twitter: @tom_king79