Geelong Cats charge into shortened pre-season

The Geelong Cats charge into pre-season training. (Louisa Jones) 225495_14

By Luke Voogt

Geelong Cats hit the track this week in preparation for a shortened pre-season ahead of their quest to go one better in 2021.

The majority of players had returned to training by this Tuesday, including captain Joel Selwood, who was still sporting protection for a finger that he injured last year.

The skipper dislocated his left middle finger in Geelong’s qualifying final loss to Port Adelaide but continued to play with the injury throughout the finals.

This week’s session comes after the Cats’ first-to-fourth year players completed a two-week block of pre-Christmas training with senior team members joining them sporadically throughout.

The Cats have enjoyed a shorter break than usual following their grand final loss to Richmond after COVID-19 prolonged the 2020 season.

Pre-season competition is set to be shorter too.

Each side will play just twice during a three-week AFL Community Series, with the Cats kicking off the competition against Essendon at Kardinia Park on February 18.

Geelong will take on St Kilda at Moorabbin Oval on March 4 in their second match.

The Cats are then set to travel to Adelaide Oval for their premiership season opener against the Crows on March 20.

Last December the AFL announced the return of 20-minute quarters this year with the league implementing a floating fixture for the 2021 season.

Last year the league shortened quarters to 16 minutes after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the season to be postponed and consequently condensed.

The AFL has locked in full details for the first six rounds.

But the AFL has yet to confirm timeslots for the remaining 17 home-and-away games due to the possibility of similar disruptions this season.

The league announced that it planned to do so in four to six week blocks at a time.

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