If you’ve been following SCT closely this Pre-Season, you’ll know that ‘Brad’ regularly contributes his summaries of JLT Series games. He’s kicked things up a notch here and has provided us with a Team Review of the Cats. Outstanding work, Brad!!
Geelong have invested heavily over the last few years, giving themselves a big shot at the title by drafting completed players to fill the holes. This has unfortunately meant that the Cats haven’t given us too many dirt-cheap rookies to field, but they have given us the big scoring monster, the 2016 Brownlow medalist, Paddy Dangerfield.
Okay, enough gloating already! What’s your point?
I only said it once and hey, haven’t I seen you in Father Dougal’s articles?
Yes, it’s a tribute.
Right, glad that’s out of the way. So Geelong have lost a few key players and replaced them with recruits around the age of 26 which was a problem a couple of years ago. Probably the biggest retiree was Enright in terms of SC output and they have a few replacements worth a look in Tuohy, Thurlow and Stewart.
Bartel and Caddy have both departed and fringe players Kersten, Vardy and Smedts all moved on too. This gives some opportunities to new players, but Geelong seem to have a fleet of players that are ‘thereabouts’, but haven’t lifted their game to a consistent high quality. This group includes Bews (Age 23), Blicavs (25), Cowan (25), Gregson (20), Horlin-Smith (24), Lang (21), McCarthy (23) and Murdoch (24).
Bye: Round 12
Geelong probably have the most friendly bye round, with only 3 other teams (Roos, Tigers & Eagles). If my understanding is correct (It is! – Schwarzwalder), you only need to have 18 players for the round, so scores should be high this round.
Predicted Best 22:
B: Tuohy – Lonergan – Bews
HB: Henderson – Taylor – Stewart
C: Blicavs – JSelwood – Duncan
HF: Motlop – Stanley – Cockatoo
F: McCarthy – Hawkins – Menzel
R: Smith – Dangerfield – CGuthrie
Int: Lang – SSelwood – Kolodjashnij – Mackay
Fringe Players: Parfitt, Black, Ruggles, Cowan, Gregson, ZGuthrie, Horlin-Smith, Murdoch.
Zach Tuohy ($443,200) [15.5% ownership]
There has been a lot said about Tuohy since moving from the Blues last year. Geelong targeted Tuohy in the search of a running accurate kick. He’s had 2 outstanding JLT games so far, but until the real stuff starts, there is still enough risk there to put coaches off.
At Carlton, he had Docherty and Simpson to contend with at half-back yet still had a respectable average of 81.5. There looks to be plenty of upside and I think at worst, you will get what you pay for. He scraped over 100+ points on six occasions last year, four of which came over the last five rounds. However he also went under 80 points in 10 games.
Jackson Thurlow ($267,600) [11.3% ownership]
Unfortunately for Jackson, he did his knee in the pre-season competition last year and had to watch from the sidelines. He was on the verge of a breakout year, but it wasn’t to be.
So far he has looked solid in the JLT working off half-back with his precise kicking and it would appear he has complete confidence in his knee after a full 12 months off. In 2015 he played 19 games and averaged 17 disposals, four marks and two tackles a game.
He’s well under-priced for his capabilities, but with most Coaches looking to start with numerous players returning from injury, it may be too risky.
Tom Stewart ($117,300) [28.4% ownership]
Stewart was upgraded from the VFL team so already has the game plan sorted. He’s played both JLT games thus far and is a very good chance to be named Rd1. He looks to be a great selection for your backline rookies to fatten up for the Bye Rounds if named in Geelong’s Rd1 team.
Zac Guthrie ($102,400) [12.6% ownership]
Cam Guthrie’s younger brother Zac is growing in confidence and maturity beyond his 14-year old looks. Two contested marks in JLT2 was a big wake-up for everyone, so if Geelong upgrade young Guth from the rookie list, expect him to be playing in Rd1.
Patrick Dangerfield ($716,900) [50% ownership]
The most expensive man in the game this year and it’s a question of: will you or won’t you? By selecting him, you have a permanent choice of captain, you get tonnes of points and you don’t have to worry about trying to bring him in later.
If you don’t select him, you’ll be hoping for a change of fortune, similar to last year’s most expensive player, Fyfe. Otherwise you have some inside intel that says Danger is going to go backwards enough that you can spend that extra $100k elsewhere.
Joel Selwood ($606,600) [4.8% ownership]
Selwood had a great season last year averaging 111, you can expect more of the same. He can sometimes drop a few lower scores in a row which could make him an upgrade target later in the year.
Scott Selwood ($281,800) [6.1% ownership]
Scott gets to enjoy the nina-nina competition with his older brother Joel, as he’s currently in 1.3% more teams at the minute. Scott only played the 5 games last year with an average of 71, he represents good value.
He’s about to turn 27 in a month and if he can be ready for Rd1, will play most games. He’s previously averaged 100+ for the Eagles, but that would be too much to hope for as he now has a run-with role. For those looking for something a *little* more solid than Swallow, Scott Selwood may be your man.
Brandon Parfitt ($117,300) [4.5% ownership]
Parfitt has taken on the famous number 3 jumper and Jimmy Bartel is rapt. Parfitt has shown some good skills in the JLT series and may get a number of games this year. He looks to be a fast and good user of the ball. Check for Rd1 selection.
Nothing to see here, keep moving.
That’s not much of a wrap, give us the low down!
Zach Smith and Rhys Stanley will probably carry the load again this year. Neither are looking like a top 3 ruck, so not much to say.
Didn’t you want to tell everyone about your Smith selection last year?
No, I was really trying to avoid that. I selected Smith last year because I thought he was going to go up a notch or 3. Former first round draft pick, fit, can go forward and kick a goal and at a good age. On second thoughts, I might select him again this year! After all, he did play 23 games and got over 100 points on 6 occasions.
Aaron Black (137,100) [26% ownership]
His move to Geelong, on the basis that he needed a fresh start, may well kick-start his career. The first JLT game he managed 4 goals, but the second was a shocker with only 7 disposals.
In 2013 and 2014 he played 18 and 25 games respectively, but only 3 games in 2015 and 0 in 2016. Injuries and form became the issue. With both Kersten and Vardy departing, the Cats decided they needed some backup and this is where I think Black will stay. I’m not confident he’ll be given too many chances while the list is fairly healthy. To demonstrate this, Geelong are happier taking their best backman and putting him forward than playing Black as a genuine lead-up player.
The reason he’s attractive is because there are so few options in the forwards. However, he does need to play at least 3 games for his price to rise, which is not guaranteed at this stage.
** Many thanks to Brad for his fantastic summary! – Schwarzwalder **
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