Sentiment set aside as even Dees tip Cats

Cats

By JOHN VAN KLAVEREN

SENTIMENT plays a limited part in Geelong’s weekly selections.
So the 300-game milestone that everyone else is celebrating will be lower on coach Chris Scott’s priority list this week.
He will be busy reminding everyone that a game of AFL is yet to be played, not just the Corey Enright Commemorative Match.
Scott as much as promised two weeks ago that Jimmy Bartel would not be risked despite his desperation to be part of the milestone game of his celebrated teammate.
The fact the game is against lowly Melbourne will also be part of Scott’s preparation, ensuring the danger of the opponent is not overlooked in the hype of the achievement.
Geelong got the Corey Enright media conference out of the way early in the week, with the man himself playing it down.
The timing also works well for Scott, being a home game and getting it out of the way before the bye, allowing the Cats to focus on the second half of the season.
The older heads will be able to separate emotion from the business at hand. They’ve done it any number of times now.
The milestone will be a valuable lesson for the younger Cats on how to handle expectations mixed with sentiment and take on their coach’s hard-nosed approach.
The time for celebration will be after the game, not before.
It will also be a test of whether players can put the excitement of the gutsy win over Port Adelaide behind them and focus on a new opponent.
The key selection headache still revolves around big-man stocks, with Rhys Stanley now cut down and Mitch Clark a week to week proposition.
The startling development of Mark Blicavs remains the shining light in the ruck division, going up against another relative newcomer in 208cm Max Gawn.
The big Dee might win the hit outs but will have no hope of keeping up with Blicavs around the ground.
Despite a lack of wins, Melbourne has played more-attractive football this season.
But even the Melbourne Football Club website predicts a Geelong win by 32 points.

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