Clark boosts selection bid

Jordan Clark was a ball magnet in Geelong seven-point victory over Essendon last Saturday. (Marcel Berens)

Young midfielder Jordan Clark has boosted his chances of round one selection after collecting an equal team-high 29 disposals in Geelong’s Community Series game against Essendon.

The 20-year-old was a ball magnet in his three quarters on the ground during the seven-point win, recording a match high of 710 metres gained.

“I think Jordan has made really significant improvement in the pre-season and he has really developed different parts of his game, which is a credit to him,” Geelong assistant coach Matthew Knights said after the match.

“He did some things that were very good. He still has some areas to work on, like a lot of our younger players and even senior players, but he is certainly improving as a player.”

Clark has impressed with his turn of speed and penetrating kick since his 2019 debut.

But he managed just three games in 2020 after suffering a dislocated shoulder in July and struggling to break back into the side.

Clark provided plenty of dash off half-back in Saturday night’s game and took several kick-ins.

But he faces tough competition for selection.

“[Clark] has given himself a chance to be up for selection for round one but that’s yet to be decided,” Knights said.

“He was still there with 26 [players] tonight so it’s a bit of a false economy. It gets down to 22 pretty quickly, and we might have some players coming into that line up also.”

Star midfielder Mitch Duncan is an outside chance to return from a calf strain for the season opener against Adelaide on March 20.

Josh Jenkins is also a chance for the game against his old side, after a solid performance in the ruck against Essendon alongside Sam De Konig.

Knights indicated the Cats could play a second ruckman, who would also serve as a third tall next to Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron in the forward line.

The Cats’ primary ruck Rhys Stanley missed the Community Series game due to concussion but should return against the Crows in a fortnight.

The Bombers dominated inside 50s against the Cats but cost themselves the game with inaccurate goal-kicking.

The Cats’ AFLW side travels to Perth in search of its first victory of the season against the West Coast Eagles at 5.10pm AEST on Monday.

The game had originally been scheduled for Sunday but the AFL moved the game this week due to an update relating to the Western Australia border.