Guthrie injury opens door for others

February 29, 2024 12:55 pm in by
Geelong midfielder Jhye Clark has signed a contract extension. (Jason Borys/Pixled Sports Media)

Mark Blicavs is the first to admit Cam Guthrie can’t be covered in the Geelong midfield but says another extended absence for the two-time best-and-fairest will provide opportunities for others.

Guthrie is facing 8-10 weeks on the sidelines with a quad injury suffered in last week’s practice match win over Carlton at Ikon Park.

The 31-year-old was forced from the ground after suffering the injury while attempting the first kick of the contest.

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“I’m really looking forward to what Jhye Clark, Tanner Bruhn … Jack Bowes has been really good this pre-season,” Blicavs said.

“Those guys to run through to complement ‘Axe’ (Tom Atkins) and Pat (Dangerfield) and those guys.

“Potentially, there might be more midfield time for myself with ‘Guth’ going down.

“But, what we’ve done is we’ve got a big group, a lot of depth in that line.

“And we’ve always been a club that have played good team footy and a system that if we have a star player like Guth (or) if ‘Hawk’ (Tom Hawkins) were to go down, we’d back the system around it to take care of that.

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“One person out, one person in, hopefully, results stay very constant.”

Blicavs says Guthrie has carried himself with his usual class despite facing the likelihood of not playing an AFL game for more than 12 months.

“He’s one of the best to handle it, I think; he always stays so positive,” Blicavs said.

“You do feel that frustration, but he’s so good at not showing it around everyone else to keep everyone up.

“It’s disappointing, but he’s right back to work, and he’s ticking off what he needs to do.

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“It’s just another hurdle for him, but that’s the life of an elite athlete in a footy club, I guess.”

Entering his 12th season, Blicavs is again shaping up as Geelong’s most versatile player.

Against the Blues, he spent time on the wing and in defence. 

Blicavs is also likely to provide ruck support at times during 2024.

“If I complement the guys around (me) and make life easier for them when I play, then that’s the plan,” he said.

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“I’m ready for the season to start and be around the ball.”

Meanwhile, Blicavs has welcomed the donation of $10m from the Costa family towards Geelong’s planned indoor training facility.

To be located within the Kardinia Park precinct, the project will likely cost $20m.

It comes as a $6.5m upgrade gets underway on the Cats’ high-performance centre.

“It’s amazing,” Blicavs said of the donation announced by Shirley Costa, the wife of late club president Frank, at last week’s Foundation Dinner.

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“It helps us as players, it helps the facilities, it helps improve us as a football club.

“The Costa family have been massive supporters (since) far before my time at the club.

“It’s a great thing for that to happen, and it shows the respect the club has for the Costa family and the respect the Costa family has for the club.”