K rock Football

Big man balancing act for Cats

Geelong big man Darcy Fort in action against Footscray. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG coach Shane O’Bree faces a familiar challenge as he prepares to juggle an abundance of AFL-listed talls in his VFL side when it takes on fellow finals aspirant Sandringham on Saturday.

Darcy Fort and Nathan Kreuger return to the Cats’ reserves teams alongside Wylie Buzza, Ryan Abbott and Zac Smith, and forecast inclement weather at GMHBA Stadium could make life difficult.

“We’re a tall team and I think we’ve worked around it this season,” O’Bree said.

“The conditions probably don’t help overhead marking, but they’re bigger bodies and good one-on-one players. It should be a hard-fought game like that anyway.”

Kreuger is the shortest of the lot at 196cm and could be sent to play in defence, where Lachie Henderson and Aaron Black are already set to fill key positions.

The versatile 20-year-old was sidelined last week after suffering a concussion and a minor back injury in a heavy fall from a marking contest in Round 13.

“It’s good for his development to play down back,” O’Bree said.

“He’s athletic and he can play small and tall.”

VFL WOMEN’S: GARING BACK FOR SAINTS TEST

AFL-listed Charlie Constable and Lachie Fogarty were also named to return to VFL action, with the latter omitted from the senior side after the surprise loss to the Western Bulldogs last week.

Talented midfielder Sam Menegola had been tipped to return from a knee injury but wasn’t cleared this week.

“We’ve got a healthy list and we’re getting a few back,” O’Bree said.

“A lot of our guys have played AFL or been in contention and it’s about getting a bit of form back into those boys.”

AFL-listed Matt Parker was a surprise inclusion for Sandringham after being omitted from the St Kilda side.

The Zebras, who have lost their last four matches, sit one win and percentage behind eighth-placed Geelong as the finals race heats up.

“All our games from here are important for us,” O’Bree said.

“Sandringham have been a bit similar to us with their form. They’ve been in a lot of games and won about the same amount.

“They’re very good around the contest and very good at getting hard balls from that, so we’ll have to match them in the contest.”

Saturday’s VFL match starts at 3.45pm and is a curtain-raiser to the Geelong-St Kilda AFL fixture.

“It’s great to expose all our players to an AFL atmosphere pre-game and the boys loving playing in double-headers,” O’Bree said.

“Hopefully in years to come it happens every week.”

Twitter: @shayne_hope

VFL ROUND 15

GEELONG (8th) vs. SANDRINGHAM (12th)

GMHBA Stadium

Saturday, July 13, 3:45pm