By Luke Voogt
Geelong Cats will take on ladder leader Port Adelaide in a possibly season-defining clash at Metricon Stadium tomorrow night.
In a press conference today, Geelong coach Chris Scott credited the Cats’ depth and rotation of players for the side’s recent success.
“Modern AFL footy – in my view at least – is more around having a deep squad and a big group of guys who are capable of getting the job done,” he said.
“And I think we’ve gone some way to providing some evidence that that’s the case.”
Geelong posted big wins against Fremantle, North Melbourne and then second-placed St Kilda this Monday during a block of compressed matches.
And the Cats played three good quarters against the Eagles in their only loss of the NBA-style fixture block.
Picking sides on player preparedness, rather than form, had been the key, Scott said.
“The priorities through the compressed season around player management, readiness, freshness, trump what I think’s a bit old-school in thinking anyway, that you just reward the guys that played well the previous week and we pick the team on form.
“I thought we were well prepared last week and the week before off four and five-day breaks.
“We’ll go in with no excuses [against Port Adelaide] and well-prepared within the circumstances.”
Scott was circumspect about the Cats’ chances against Port Adelaide.
“We’ve got a level of confidence in the way we’re trying to play,” he said.
“I think a fair bit of it comes back to execution.
“Most teams in the comp, I think, would have a theoretical model in mind of their game style, and would have a belief that if they play that really well, it’s going to stack up against the best teams.
“So, we’ve got a level of confidence the model is good enough, but the execution is much more important.”
Meanwhile, the Cats’ Gold Coast hub was a joyous scene of hugs and kisses as many players reunited with their wives and children today.
Geelong made a statement with a 59-point thrashing of St Kilda on Monday that many expected to be an arm wrestle.
Tom Hawkins (five goals) and Gary Rohan (four goals) wreaked havoc in the forward line while midfielder Sam Menegola had yet another sublime game this year.
Port Adelaide is an entirely different proposition, but if the Cats continue their form they could pull off the upset in what has been an unpredictable year.
Cats by 4 points.