GEELONG coach Chris Scott believes a change of tactics for the NAB Cup will have his Cats better prepared for AFL season 2013 than they were in 2012.
Scott left only three senior players, who were available for yesterday's trip to Perth, in Melbourne. Paul Chapman, Andrew Mackie and James Kelly did not play in the Cats two-point win over West Coast, nor their 18-point loss to Fremantle.
The majority of Geelong's senior list did not play NAB Cup in 2012 until late in the campaign.
Scott believes that was a mistake that his side paid for.
''We got some important game time in to most of our list tonight,'' Scott said.
''We waited last year and I don't believe now that was the right thing to do.
''I think we will be better placed this season early, than we were last season.
''There were skill errors tonight, but I thought the games were of high quality.
The Cats lost two of their first three games of the season proper in 2012 (to Fremantle in Round 1 and North Melbourne in Round 3) before hitting their straps and winning their next three.Scott said that all three of the experienced players mentioned above are scheduled to play in the Cats next pre-season game, against Adelaide at Simonds Stadium on March 2.
Scott also appeared more than satisfied with Geelong's performance on the big Patersons Stadium, in games played in humid conditions and in temperatures that hit 30 degrees.
He singled out recruits Josh Caddy and Jared Rivers, adding that the former Melbourne player ''looks like a Geelong defender already.''
Caddy had an immediate impact for the Cats, the former Gold Coast player kicking his first goal just 34 seconds into Game 1 against West Coast.
Rivers was impressive in a key defensive role alongside Corey Enright and Harry Taylor.
James Podsiadly also spent some time in defence in Game 2, against Fremantle, after kicking important goals in the Game 1 win against West Coast.
''We can't cover (retired defender Matthew) Scarlett,'' Scott said. ''And Rivers was not recruited to cover Scarlett.
''We will be relying on a group of players to combine in defence this year. I think key position players are just that and that they should be able to play back and forward.
''We think we have a big group of defenders that can move through the midfield and the back line.''
Mitch Brown was another key position player to swap from one end of the ground to the other, playing in defence early against Fremantle before going forward in the second half and kicking two goals that almost saw the Cats snatch an unlikely victory.