JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Cats confident they will claw their way back

Date

Emma Quayle

Retiring Matthew Scarlett leaves the MCG.

Retiring Matthew Scarlett leaves the MCG. Photo: Getty Images

ANDREW Mackie had plenty of words to describe what happened to Geelong in Saturday night's elimination final. ''Disappointing'' and ''shattering'' were two that came straight to mind, but the defender saw enough this season to feel certain that the Cats will not only challenge again next year but be a premiership contender for many more to come.

''No doubt. I know it's easy to say, but I really think we're in good shape,'' said Mackie, after the Cats' 16-point loss to Fremantle ended a run that had taken them to a preliminary final every year since 2007 and winning three flags along the way.

''We're going to have another couple of new recruits next year. Young Daniel Menzel's going to find his way off another knee reconstruction, Nathan Vardy's played a couple of games back and we've got some great players who have been taught the right way.

''We're going to be thereabouts again. No side that we play for in this jumper will ever rebuild, or anything like that. I feel we've got a lot of talent.''

Matthew Scarlett is the first player Geelong must replace in its line-up. The champion defender waved a low-key goodbye to supporters as he led the Cats off the ground on Saturday night, after his 284th and final game.

Paul Chapman has been in contract negotiations for much of the year and should play again, while Shannon Byrnes appears destined for Melbourne as a free agent. David Wojcinski, soon to turn 32, remains uncontracted after playing only four games this season.

While Corey Enright, Joel Corey and James Podsiadly are all in their 30s, the retirements last year of Cameron Ling, Cam Mooney, Brad Ottens and Darren Milburn left the Cats with quite a young list. It's one they are looking to boost via trading, with Gold Coast onballer Josh Caddy a target and they have a remaining Gary Ablett compensation pick up their sleeve.

The club used 10 first-gamers this year, ranging from 29-year-old ruckman Orren Stephenson to teenagers Billie Smedts, Jordan Murdoch and Josh Walker and rookies Jesse Stringer and Jonathan Simpkin.

While none have entrenched themselves in the senior line-up like Menzel, Mitch Duncan and Allen Christensen did last season, coach Chris Scott said the decision to blood so many newcomers had left the club better placed to handle what would be the ''incredibly difficult'' challenge of making next year's finals series.

''We certainly didn't put all our eggs into the 2011 basket and if we didn't do it then, we certainly didn't do it in the 2012 season,'' Scott said. ''We think, given the things we've tried to do to rejuvenate our list and give some experience to younger players, on a lot of fronts it's been a positive season.

''Still to say, with a straight face, that we thought our best footy was good enough to test anyone I think leaves us in a pretty good position.

''We certainly didn't plan for 10 debutants. I would have thought that exceeded our expectations, and the performance of some of those individuals probably exceeded our expectations,'' Scott said.

''I think the way we were able to integrate those players into the team was a little bit slow at times. Last year we had guys like Duncan and Menzel and Vardy and Christensen come in and it was quite seamless.

''I think we had a few more challenges blending the youth and experience this year and that's probably based on the numbers, but we're not going to commit ourselves to throwing everything into one season at the expense of the future. I think the last 24 months has given us a better chance to be very competitive in 2013, '14, '15.''

12 comments

  • Making the Prelim Final five years in a row….a bad start to 2012…limped into this year’s finals…The Cats assumed that things would just click. So even though ''disappointing'' and 'shattering'' are two words that might come to mind by Cats players…..to me, those words should be “over confident”. Mind you, better to go out now than to be belted by the Hawks in the GF. The only thing that might help Sydney in the GF will be if Franklin does his hammy and Sewell gets stuck in traffic.

    Commenter
    Insider
    Date and time
    September 10, 2012, 9:33AM
    • Speaking of over confident, last time I checked neither Hawks or Swans have made the GF yet. Cats won 3 premierships in 5 years, lets see if your club (presumably Hawks) can replicate that ,"Insider".

      Commenter
      Andy 82
      Date and time
      September 10, 2012, 12:26PM
    • This year the Swans flogged the Hawks early, then lost to them in a nail-biter a few weeks ago. Hawks deserve to be favourites but the Swans won't be pushovers. And no honest, sane person could ever truthfully accuse the Geelong Football Club of being over confident.

      Commenter
      KJ
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 10, 2012, 1:20PM
    • we would have met the hawks in the preliminary final, not the g/f - they won't be worried by the purple haze, so who knows if the same first quarter team turn up to that game? i was never over-confident but rekkun'd they'd meet a team with a mission. but i don't doubt the assessment of the article that they'll be a force in the competetion for a few years yet. some of their superstars are yet young and they've a jesus-makeup pick to come. get another canny defender and a solid linkage player from middle to the forward line, then i think mackie is about on the spot.

      Commenter
      samuel coleridge
      Location
      xanadu
      Date and time
      September 10, 2012, 1:42PM
    • "The only thing that might help Sydney in the GF will be if Franklin does his hammy and Sewell gets stuck in traffic." And the Cats' players were "over confident"? Perhaps you'd better heed your own advice insider.

      Commenter
      Basso Divor
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      September 10, 2012, 5:15PM
    • "... better to go out now than to be belted by the Hawks in the GF"

      That scenario is not possible insider - Had The Cats progressed to next Friday's game against Adelaide and prevailed, they would have met Hawthorn in a preliminary final the following week. Only one of those teams would have made the GF.

      Commenter
      Basso Divor
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      September 10, 2012, 5:27PM
  • As a Cats' fan I'm not too shattered. After all, it's an even year as were 08 and 10. There's a massive upside with the young blokes mentioned in the yarn and all look like being super players for the next decade. Many of the stalwarts are still under 30 so they have years to provide more guidance. And the seconds continued the Geelong tradition by edging out Hawthorn's seconds in a final yesterday and there is much more talent there who have yet to play seniors, led by Kersten and with Stringer (a Stevie J in the making after his club-imposed suspension??), Guthrie, Smedts, Walker, Horlin-Smith and more waiting in the wings. Duncan, Christensen, Motlop, Vardy and Menzel show the Geelong development style works. At least I'm glad I don't support a club such as Melbourne, Footscray or Port which just don't seem to have a clue.

    Commenter
    Laurie Mills
    Location
    Bowen
    Date and time
    September 10, 2012, 10:06AM
    • Laurie, I'm with you word for word - though I'd actually like to see the clubs that are struggling get back on a consistently competitive footing. And I feel rotten that Port Power, a club with a great history but on its knees right now, should have suffered the tragic loss it did today.

      Port Adelaide, may this be a turning point. Strength to you.

      Commenter
      Elly
      Location
      South Geelong
      Date and time
      September 10, 2012, 2:34PM
    • I'm a Hawks fan. I think Geelong will be back next year, but any era has to end, the draft, natural cycles of motivation and commitment and luck all contribute to the gradual decline of any team - look at the Hawks from the 80's, 90's, the Lions from the early 2000's, and the Australian cricket team.
      It's very difficult to remain at the pinnacle for a very long time at elite level, and the Cats showed a mental frailty this year that simply wasn't part of their makeup for that golden period - at times they looked frustrated, fatigued and unsure which is sign of things starting to unravel.
      They have been a delight to watch and have produced some of the game's greats but it can't be sustained for ever.

      Commenter
      Jon
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      September 10, 2012, 4:12PM
  • I am still trying to work out - who is the bigger whinger Brad or Chris

    Commenter
    Gaz
    Location
    Yarrawonga
    Date and time
    September 10, 2012, 12:36PM

    More comments

    Comments are now closed

    Related Coverage

    AFL 2015

    Round 1
    Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
    SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
    BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
    WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
    STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
    ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
    FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
    Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
    HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
    GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
    COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
    GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
    PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
    ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
    NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
    ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
    SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
    NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
    BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
    GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
    WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
    ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
    GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
    PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
    FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
    GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
    WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
    CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
    Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
    RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
    SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
    GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
    NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
    WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
    Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
    MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
    STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
    ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
    WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
    GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
    GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
    MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
    FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
    PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
    HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
    CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
    SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
    WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
    RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
    BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
    GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
    GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
    HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
    FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
    MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
    PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
    MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
    WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
    RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
    ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs STK 13:10G
    COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
    WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
    GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
    ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
    PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
    NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
    STK vs HAW 16:40ES
    Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
    WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
    NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
    STK vs MEL 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
    ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
    GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
    WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
    Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
    FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
    BRI vs ADE 16:35G
    STK vs WBU 19:20ES
    Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
    Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
    COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
    GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
    WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
    MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
    Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
    ESS vs STK 13:10ES
    ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
    FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
    PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
    Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
    ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
    WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
    NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
    WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
    GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
    HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
    BRI vs SYD 16:40G
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
    NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
    Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
    GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
    COL vs WCE 16:35ES
    SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
    FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
    PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
    STK vs RIC 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
    Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
    GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
    ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
    RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
    ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
    BRI vs NTH 19:20G
    Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
    WBU vs COL 13:10ES
    MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
    WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
    Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
    COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
    SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
    CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
    GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
    Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
    PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
    ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
    FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
    ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
    COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
    WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
    BRI vs GCF 16:35G
    GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
    WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
    GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
    STK vs FRE 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
    Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
    ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
    NTH vs STK 14:10BA
    PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
    GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
    BRI vs CAR 19:20G
    Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
    WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
    FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
    Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
    COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
    GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
    GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
    STK vs GEE 19:20ES
    ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
    NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
    CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
    WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 22
    Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
    Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
    GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
    HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
    NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
    ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
    GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
    Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
    ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
    STK vs SYD 15:20ES
    FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 23
    Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
    COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
    RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
    HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
    GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
    SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
    MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
    BRI vs WBU 00:00G
    PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
    WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    AFL 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D % Pts
    Fremantle 8 8 0 0 155.29 32
    West Coast Eagles 8 6 2 0 158.17 24
    Sydney Swans 8 6 2 0 127.36 24
    GWS Giants 8 6 2 0 118.87 24
    Collingwood 8 5 3 0 129.90 20
    Adelaide Crows 8 5 3 0 116.32 20
    Hawthorn 8 4 4 0 145.81 16
    Richmond 8 4 4 0 107.64 16
    View all
     
    Featured advertisers