Cats preparing ‘for bizarre’ home final

MILESTONE: Cats captain Joel Selwood is set to equal a club record for most finals played when he takes on the Pies next week. Picture: Marcel Berens

By Natalee Kerr

Geelong coach Chris Scott has slammed the AFL’s “bizarre” finals fixture that will see his side play Collingwood at their home ground next week despite the Cats finishing the season atop of the ladder.

“Most normal people know that the systems wrong … but it is what is,” he told reporters last weekend.

Scott also further reiterated his concerns about the MCG hosting the Grand Final until 2057.

“West Coast and Brisbane, GWS for that matter, maybe the Crows or Port have to come and win a Grand Final probably at their opposition’s home ground as well,” he said.

“So you need to be that little better, which West Coast were last year.

“Are we confident we’re that? We’re hopeful, we’ve had a good preparation, we’ve given ourselves every chance.

“Now whether we can go beat teams that play 15 games at the MCG every year, including probably 10 or 12 in a row is yet to be seen, but we’re up for the challenge.”

Scott’s comments come after the Cats claimed the minor premiership following their 68-point win over Carlton at a rainy Kardinia Park last Saturday.

Geelong will now face the challenge of burying their poor post-bye record when they take on the Pies at the MCG next Friday in the first qualifying final following a 12-day break.

The Cats have lost their past nine games immediately following a mid-season break, and have also fallen in their past two pre-finals byes.

But Scott dismissed concerns that any issue exists with his team’s form coming off a rest.

“We don’t set up our season to make sure that our best game of the year is the game post the mid-season bye, but we do set it up so we’re in pretty good shape coming into the first week of the finals,” he said.

“We’ll go into a final series pretty confident that we’re playing good enough footy to get the job done. In some ways we’d prefer not to have the week off – we’re ready to go now.”

Collingwood enter the game coming off four wins-in-a-row, their most recent being a 11-point victory over Essendon last Friday.

The match-up will be the first September meeting between the two sides since the memorable 2011 Grand Final.

The game also marks the 24th final between them, making it the most finals meetings of any two clubs within the leagues history, while Joel Selwood is set to play his 28th final to equal Jimmy Bartel’s club record.

But Geelong is set to face a selection dilemma with Tom Atkins, Jake Kolodjashnij and Jordan Clark all likely to be available for the game.

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