New draftees hit the track with Harry back

EASY DECISION: Harry Taylor decided to play on with the Cats two days after Geelong’s preliminary final loss in September. Picture: Louisa Jones

By Natalee Kerr

Geelong’s newest draftees hit the track for the first time last week as the club began its pre-season training.

Young recruits Cooper Stephens, Sam De Koning, Francis Evans, Cameron Taheny and Brad Close entered their first day of pre-season last Friday.

Several big-name stars including Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood and Harry Taylor also trained alongside their younger teammates.

Taylor said his hopes of winning another premiership flag encouraged him to play on for a thirteenth season.

The 33-year-old revealed the decision to stay with the Cats came two days after Geelong’s preliminary final loss in September.

“It was probably the next 48 hours after that game,” Taylor told the media last week.

“A lot goes into these decisions, it is not something that just comes into your head.

“But in the end I still have a strong desire and strong passion to help this footy club win another premiership. That has been my goal now for a very long time.”

Taylor said the team did a “lot of things right” during a “tough” 2019 season and were determined to further improve next year.

“We need to remember the good things we have done, but we also need to remember how important it is to improve,” he said.

“There have certainly been cases in the past where teams have got to preliminary finals and unfortunately haven’t been able to back it up the next season, so what we need to do is continue to have that strong growth mindset.”