By Luke Voogt
Star forward Jeremy Cameron has declared himself fit and “keen for a big performance” ahead of Friday night’s game against his former GWS teammates.
Cameron assured a press conference on Tuesday he was in good shape after multiple hamstring injuries earlier this year resulted in him missing a large part of the season.
“I actually pulled up really, really well and I have for a number of weeks,” Cameron said.
“I felt like I was ready to go about three weeks [after the most recent injury].
“As a player, I hate watching football, I just want to be out there playing with the boys.
“We held back an extra three weeks and I had six weeks off – from that moment onwards, I have felt cherry ripe.”
And the banter has begun with his former teammates after the Giants thrilling one-point win over Sydney last weekend, Cameron revealed.
“It was intense, it was a great game to watch,” he said.
“I had a cheeky message from Stevie J via Instagram, I thought that would be coming actually, and I’ve spoken to a couple of the other boys since.
“They’ll be wanting to come out firing like they have – they’ve had a really good month of footy.
“I’m sure there is going to be a few words said out on the field but it’s all part of [the game] and it adds to the excitement.
“I have got plenty [of sledges] in the memory bank but I don’t know if I will use too many.”
Cameron said he reached out to star Giant Toby Greene, whose brain fade bumping into umpire Matt Stevic last Saturday resulted in a suspension ruling him out of the finals.
“He’s a really close mate of mine, Toby, and I reached out to him a couple of times yesterday but I know he had a lot on his plate, so we sort of missed each other,” he said.
“I’ll continue to support him as a close mate.”
Greene’s suspension is a huge loss for GWS, but it could also galvanise the Giants.
“Another player is going to come in for the Giants and we’ve got to make sure we play our best football and not focus on them too much,” Cameron said.
“It’s more about what we can do and what we can control, and go from there.”
The Cats forwards will need to contend with Sam Taylor, who held Geelong’s top goal-kicker Tom Hawkins to just one major in the sides’ last clash.
Taylor could also play a similar role to Aliir Aliir, whose intercept marking helped contain Geelong’s scoring last Friday.
“Every team you come up against these days has a player who likes to drop off and take marks in front of the opposition,” Cameron said.
“Limiting those [intercept marks] is a key part of the game each and every week, not just in big finals.
“[Taylor] played a lot of pre-seasons on me when he was young, so he knows the way I play.
“Whether he goes to Hawk or comes to me, we’ll have to wait and see. I didn’t show him all my tricks, I made sure of that.”
The Cats will aim to “sharpen up” after dropping marks and uncharacteristic fumbles last Friday, which only increased Port Adelaide’s pressure, according to Cameron.
“We weren’t as clean as we’d like to be,” he said.
“[When] you improve on that, it’s amazing how everything else seems to flow off the back of it. We know what we can do when we play our best footy.
“When it’s an elimination … there’s a lot on the line and it brings the best out of a lot guys.
“Myself, when your back’s up against the wall, that’s when you seem to want to play your best football and you really knuckle down and galvanise. We are looking forward to that.”