MILESTONES for “much-loved” duo Harry Taylor and Cam Guthrie should be motivation enough for Geelong to shake off the post-bye blues that have seen it fail to win off its mid-season break for the last seven years according to coach Chris Scott.
Key defender Taylor will become just the 17th Cat to register 250 games at VFL/AFL level, while the versatile Guthrie reaches 150 matches in the Hoops in Saturday night’s meeting with Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.
“It’s unusual you have two players with significant milestones like that in the same game,” Scott said.
“So, that’s been part of our focus as well, making sure that, if we need any extra motivation to play well, we want to do it for those guys.”
There have been “tweaks” to how Geelong has handled the mid-season bye, but Scott says with several new faces in the team, history means little ahead of the clash with the Power.
“I did bring it up post-game in the Richmond week and a third of the room had no idea what I was talking about, which kind of speaks to the fact that we have some new people in the team, and it’s a new year, and it just feels different to us,” Scott said.
“I generally think 2012 doesn’t have too much relevance to 2019.
“But, I’ve said a few times publicly, and certainly privately, that one of the things we’ve endeavoured to do this year is when there’s an issue – even if it’s really minor – just confront it; don’t pretend it’s not happening.
“So, we spoke about it last week, but we’re done speaking about it.
“We’ve got to focus on the really positive things we’ve got going into the game.”
Scott says the industry admired the way Taylor went about his business.
“I think there’s great admiration around for the key defenders who have played on some of the greats of the game,” he said.
“Looking over the vision of his last 249 games, he’s played on some great and rarely had his colours lowered.
“We also admire him for the quirky way he goes about it. He’s a unique character; he does make us laugh consistently – I’m not sure it’s always deliberate.
“There are so many parts of the way Harry that goes about his craft that we’d like to be passed down to our younger players.
“But, to be honest, there are some things that he does that no one could coach. They’re uniquely Harry.”
Scott shares a unique link with Guthrie, with the coach’s first game in charge also the debut appearance for the No.29.
“He’s been a great supporter of our footy club, and his teammates love playing with him,” Scott said.”
“He’s different to Harry, but he’s also different to most as well; he does it his own way.
“I just love how self-effacing he is, and the way he goes about it.
“And I think this is pretty reflective of where our team’s at at the moment; he an individual who doesn’t desire any more accolades for himself than he gets.
“That’s the definition of a team-first player, and that’s one of the reasons I love him.”