By Luke Voogt
Geelong coach Chris Scott has acknowledged the impact of a limited pre-season on the Cats, forecasting better footy to come.
“We’ve had the shortest pre-season in the history of the AFL, really – but a lot of teams are in the same boat,” Scott told a press conference yesterday.
“We’ve got some guys that aren’t as good as they will be in six, seven, eight weeks’ time.”
Scott acknowledged midfielder-forward Luke Dalhaus had struggled due to the limited pre-season.
“He needs time and he needs match practice,” he said.
“We’ve just got to make a decision with some of those guys as to whether it’s best, short to long-term, for them to continue playing in the AFL.
“I don’t think we’re there with Luke – I’m sure he’ll get better.”
Scott also voiced his concern over the Cats’ foward 50 entries, defensive execution and other “things we’re not quite executing on”.
The Cats appear likely to again be without injured star forward Jeremy Cameron against North Melbourne on Sunday afternoon, Scott admitted.
“Cameron we’ll hold back for another week, we think, without guaranteeing it will only be a week,” he said.
Cameron would need to pass a “whole range of metrics and measures” before returning to the side, Scott said.
“And then we’ll overlay the subjective gut feel of it as well,” he said.
“I’m as keen as anyone to see him unleashed.
“He’s like a cat on a hot tin roof and he’s excited at the prospect of playing for the Cats, and that’s part of the reason we want to make sure that we’re really cautious.
“We don’t want to tempt him to come back before he’s absolutely ready.”
Scott said he had high regard for bottom-placed North Melbourne’s best players, including Ben Cunnington and Todd Goldstein, ahead of Sunday’s clash at GMHBA Stadium.
The AFL Tribunal’s overturning of Cunnington’s one-match ban this week would strengthen the Kangaroos, Scott said.
“But their young talent is what we need to be concerned about, as much as anything.”
Scott thanked Cats fans as the clubs’ memberships surpassed 60,000, along with retired champions Gary Ablett and Harry Taylor, who will take part in a lap of honour on Sunday.
“They’d be in the mix if they were available,” he joked.
Earlier in the week young gun Jordan Clark joined other Cats AFL and AFLW players running an all-abilities clinic.
Clark looked forward to getting players including Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Rohan back in the side, and said he was happy to be flexible to make way for their return.
“I don’t mind getting thrown around wherever. So long as I’m out there, that’s all that matters to me,” Clark said.