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Cats grab trio from rivals in departure from club policy


Michael Gleeson, Jake Niall and Emma Quayle

Jared Rivers.

Jared Rivers. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

HAVING shifted the club's recruiting philosophy by securing three players from other clubs at once, Geelong has set the goal of reaching the top four in 2013.

The Cats completed the recruitment of Melbourne defender Jared Rivers and North Melbourne ruckman Hamish McIntosh - both on three-year deals - yesterday and finalised the trade for ex-Suns youngster Josh Caddy.

Geelong did not have a single player on its senior list this year who was traded. But club chief executive Brian Cook said the Cats had decided to shift their long-standing policy of ''growing their own'' players in order to remain competitive while rebuilding and creating a ''bridge'' between the club's large groups of veterans and youngsters.

Josh Caddy (centre) will be at the Cats next year.

Josh Caddy (centre) will be at the Cats next year. Photo: Steve Holland

Cook said 2013 would be the third year of a ''transition'' that began in 2011, when the Cats won the premiership, as older players retired, and the aim for next year was to remain highly competitive and make the top four, which they missed narrowly this year.

''That's the ambition - finish in the top four,'' said Cook, acknowledging that this was ''a huge challenge'' for the club as its veterans retired.

Cook said the Cats' list was ''polarised'' between youngsters and older players, having lost Matthew Scarlett, David Wojcinski and Simon Hogan to retirement, with free agent Shannon Byrnes joining Melbourne.

Hamish McIntosh (centre) will move to Geelong.

Hamish McIntosh (centre) will move to Geelong. Photo: Pat Scala

Cook said the ''new landscape'' of free agency - which meant the club could pick up Rivers without sacrificing a draft pick - plus the age profile of the list had prompted the club to change tack somewhat.

Brad Ottens was the last significant player to join Geelong from another club.

''The list profile we've got - it's polarised a bit.''

Geelong gave up only money for Rivers, but the Demons will be compensated by a draft pick while the Cats gave up their second-round draft pick - selection 36 - to secure McIntosh who moves from playing under Brad to Chris Scott. The trade of McIntosh frees up money for North Melbourne.

The remaining year of McIntosh's contract has been absorbed by Geelong as part of a new three-year deal.

The Roos will now move to front-load a number of contracts with discussions to be opened with a number of players falling out of contract next year such as Jack Ziebell, Daniel Wells, Shaun Atley, Kieran Harper, Drew Petrie and Luke Delaney.

With Cameron Pedersen on his way to Melbourne - likely in exchange for the Rivers compensation draft pick - they should now also secure uncontracted Port Adelaide youngster Ben Jacobs with a second-round pick with Matthew Campbell potentially moving to Port as part of the deal.

Melbourne had already lost one player and secured another through free agency.

The expectation is that the draft pick it would have received for losing Brent Moloney to the Brisbane Lions will be cancelled out by the arrival of free agent Byrnes.

The Cats now have five ruckmen - Trent West, Dawson Simpson, Orren Stephenson, the versatile Nathan Vardy and McIntosh - on their senior list.

The romantic story of Stephenson might be shortlived as the mature-age recruit is understood to be out of contract and could be squeezed for numbers. Tom Gillies is out of contract and likely to be under pressure to keep his spot on the Geelong list.

Scott Gumbleton is weighing whether to accept a two-year offer from the Western Bulldogs or remain at Essendon.

Second-guessing Gumbleton's decision, clubs presumed he would remain at the Bombers where he is close friends with Jobe Watson with whom he shares a house.

The deadline for nominating for free agency is 5pm today.

45 comments so far

  • A back line hack at Melbourne that has been playing in the forward line and a ruckman that will struggle under the Nic Nat rule.

    Good moves.

    Date and time
    October 18, 2012, 3:57PM
    • Rivers a backline hack that has been playing forward? Reckon Mitch Clark getting injured might have something to do with that? Great addition of experience to the Geelong backline.

      Kardinia Park
      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 4:27PM
    • Re. Rivers. It makes a difference coming into a stronger side and having support, structure and a new level of confidence about yourself and the team you're in. Re-visit your comments come Sept next year. Jury still out on McIntosh though, especially on a 3 year deal.

      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 4:51PM
    • Who do you support NathanD? Actually... thats an irrelevant question. The people who make the decisions at your club, haven't made as effective decisions as the people at Geelong. Fact.

      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 5:01PM
    • If Stephen Wells was involved in these selections, then they will be good moves. He has an exemplary record in player selections and in my view was the crucial factor in Geelong's three recent premierships.

      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 5:38PM
    • @NathanD sounds like sour grapes!
      The word is Rivers would likely have won Melbourne's B&F had he not been moved to the forward line to try and plug holes left by Mitch Clarke's injury. While Melbourne have not achieved much he has been outstanding. The Cats will hope surrounding him with the obvious class in the Cats back-line he will blossom, and there's a good chance he will.
      As far McIntosh goes it's a bit of a gamble but he was an All Australian a couple of years back. If the Cats can get his body right he could be a real boon for the Cats ruck stocks.
      And the supposed Nic Nat rule- Who Knows! and there is only one of him.
      Gambles; yes a bit perhaps.... Worth taking; absolutely...
      They may help improve this already pretty good side.

      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 5:52PM
    • Steven Wells is by far the most insightful recruiting manager in the league. At least Rivers will get to play part of his career with a truly professional outfit and not waste away like the rest of the lost souls at Melbourne.
      When are the Dees fans going to realise that it is not the recruiters that are the probelm, it is the club, it's culture and it's player development.
      If they had chosen Nic Nat instead of Watts, then Watts would be a champion while Natanui would be running around with the Casey Scopions.
      Well done to the Cats for giving a talented player the oportunity to get away from the talent destroying wasteland that is the Melbourne football club.

      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 8:02PM
    • Do you think you have made an ill informed judgement on the merit of Geelong securing 2 players who are likely to be in the best 22 of an already strong playing list in exchange for pick 38 in the draft? If you are a Demons supporter who do you think has lost more- Geelong losing Byrnes (4 games 2012) or Melbourne losing Rivers (22 games & top 5 B&F)? If you are a Pies supporter I can understand your lack of logic. If a hawks supporter just sour grapes after choking twice against the Cats & in the Big One against the Swans.

      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 8:06PM
    • NathanD, obviously you know far more than a successful club that has been at the top for many years with 3 recent flags. The Cats are trade specialists and have done brilliantly again this year. Caddy, McIntosh and Rivers - all very good gets. Will be top 4 next year. I wish my team were as good at trading!

      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 8:40PM
    • And you'd know more about recruiting than Stephen Wells? I know whose judgement and proven track record I'd trust!

      Basso Divor
      Date and time
      October 18, 2012, 9:32PM

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