Cats hit the breaks

CHALLENGES: Geelong faces a tough couple of weeks, according to coach Chris Scott.

By Natalee Kerr

Despite an unbeaten start to the season, Geelong coach Chris Scott says lengthy back-to-back breaks present the Cats with their toughest fortnight.

Geelong had a five-day break before its win against Adelaide last Thursday but now has two nine-day breaks in a row.

Scott linked the team’s performances to the duration of breaks.

“We’ve been pretty good off short breaks and pretty poor off long breaks. We’re aware of that and we’re confronting that head on.”

Nine-day breaks appeared benign “at first glance” but presented unique challenges, Scott said.

“The biggest thing is trying to balance how much you use the extra time for more work and trying to make incremental gains as opposed to recovery,” he explained.

The team would approach the long breaks “with a fresh set of eyes” rather than dwell on previous similar scenarios, he said.

“We’re really confident that our guys will go out there feeling good (and) ready to perform well.”

After a pre-season when some pundits predicted their downfall, the Cats have started the season with three strong consecutive wins, including victories against two of last year’s preliminary finalists.

They Cats will take on Greater Western Sydney at Kardinia Park tomorrow before meeting Hawthorn and West Coast in following weeks.

The Giants are coming off a solid 49-point win at home against Richmond.

Scott considered the Giants “one of the logical premiership favourites for a reason”.

“They have very good players across all lines,” he said

“(But) it’s a real mistake for us to get too caught up on their individual star power. Our focus should be on trying to build our game and play as well as we possibly can.”

Geelong will face the Giants without defender Lachie Henderson due to a foot injury that could keep him sidelined up to three weeks.

“It’s unfortunate for Lachie and for us because he’s been in good from in the VFL, found his way into the team and played well for us,” Scott said.

But he was confident the Cats could still put “put a good team out there” despite their growing injury list.

“We’ve got a dozen guys who have played less than 20 to 30 games that could come in and do the job for us.”

One of the inexperienced players is young defender Jordan Clark who earlier this week extended his commitment to the club for a further two years.

The 18-year-old debuted in round one this year after the Cats picked at number 15 in the 2018 draft.

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