THE encouraging news for Geelong is that it has a host of tall defenders in good form heading into the AFL season.
The difficult part is how many of them can play in the blockbuster opening-round clash against Collingwood.
Reigning best and fairest winner Mark Blicavs, Harry Taylor, Lachie Henderson, Jack Henry and Tom Stewart all stand 190cm or bigger and all impressed in Thursday night’s convincing 28-point JLT Series win over Essendon.
The 193cm Jake Kolodjashnij is also in the frame to return and take on last year’s runners-up in the March 22 clash at the MCG.
Fast-improving Irishman Mark O’Connor is another option.
But whether they can all play against a versatile Magpies’ attacking unit featuring the likes of mid-sized trio Jordan de Goey, Jaidyn Stephenson and Jamie Elliott is set to cause Cats head coach Chris Scott and his staff some sleepless nights in the coming fortnight.
“It’s going to be a really tough decision because they all played really well – particularly the talls,” said Cats assistant coach Nigel Lappin.
“I thought they were all fantastic.
“It is going to be difficult.
“I think against some oppositions we can do it.
“But whether we do it in round one, I’m not too sure what way we’re going to go at the moment.”
Zach Tuohy will definitely miss the clash against the Magpies with a knee complaint, while fellow small defender Jed Bews is an unlikely starter with a leg injury.
There were also plenty of positives in attack for the Cats in the convincing 15.11 (101) to 11.7 (73) win over the Bombers.
Recruits Gary Rohan and Luke Dahlhaus both showcased exactly what made them attractive to Geelong – the former with his blistering speed and four-goal haul and the latter with his forward pressure and game-high eight tackles.
It has been a reunion of sorts for ex-Swan Rohan and former Western Bulldog Dahlhaus, who came up through the Under 18 ranks together with the Geelong Falcons.
“It was good to play alongside (Dahlhaus) again,” said Rohan.
“His pressure and his buzz around the club is sensational.
“That is why they have got me and him in and even Tommy Atkins.
“The boys did the hard work, and I just finished it off for them.”
© AAP 2019