Geelong veteran Harry Taylor says the Cats aren’t concerned about their recent finals record heading into Friday’s AFL qualifying final against Collingwood.
The Cats were knocked out in the elimination final in 2018 and have won just three of their past 12 finals games.
“We certainly don’t focus on it too much internally. We certainly acknowledge that we haven’t played well in the finals of late but I’m a real big believer in looking at every game in isolation,” Taylor said on Thursday.
“Yes, we haven’t been great in finals, yes, we haven’t been great after byes, these sorts of things.
“But I just purely try to look at that game in isolation – not reflect too much on what happened before and what’s going to happen in the future.”
Taylor is one of just six players on Geelong’s list to have experienced premiership success.
Joel Selwood played in all three of the 2007, 2009 and 2011 flags, while Gary Ablett (2007 and 2009), Tom Hawkins and Taylor (2009 and 2011) and Mitch Duncan (2011) are the other premiership Cats.
Recruit Luke Dahlhaus was a premiership player with the Western Bulldogs in 2016.
With several Cats set to play their first AFL final, Taylor said it was important to stick to the “fundamentals” that had helped Geelong reach the top of the ladder.
“You don’t need to do anything else different, you just need to be able to do that under a bit more pressure.,” he said.
“So that’s probably the message that I would try to say to any of the young guys and our senior guys – just keep it as simple as you possibly can because finals are predictable, the game does become a bit more simpler.
“It’s just a lot more people watching and yelling and screaming and there is a lot more on the line. But as soon as you focus on that or the outcome or the result, you’re not going to play your absolute best.”
Geelong will face a tough task of handling ruckman Brodie Grundy, who is crucial to the Pies’ ability to quickly transition the ball into their dangerous forward line.
“We’ve seen throughout the season how damaging and dangerous they can be, particularly at ground level, but they’ve got some players that are really good overhead for their size as well,” Taylor said.
“So ball movement going into the forward line is always a big part of how your forward line plays and Grundy and the elite midfield that they have give their forwards quite a good chance.
“So there’s going to be quite a few entries, a lot of them are going to be pressured, there’ll be some that aren’t.
“We’ve just got to find a way to halve as many contests as we can, win some when we can and just neutralise those really damaging players.”
© AAP 2019