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All Is Not Lost At Geelong

With the AFL Finals series now in full swing, many pundits are still pondering how Geelong didn’t make it. Maybe they are just thinking too hard as in my eyes Geelong aren’t a premiership contender. They are a good team who last year exceeded their potential and this year has come crashing back down to reality.

Geelong is a pretty even side with no super stars except for Scarlet. Their midfield lacks the speed the speed and class that all premiership contenders need. Their forward line is desperately lacking an out and out key forward. Although Ottens has done a commendable job down there this year, there has just been too much pressure on him as he is the only one down there who is able to make a contest. Also he is a ruckman and it is very difficult to turn a ruckman into a gun key position forward. Maybe the arrival of Tom Hawkins could solve a few problems for Geelong next year.

Their lack of key forwards, lack of pace and class through the midfield and the evenness of the whole side all combined to make a pretty dour team. Added to this was the suspension of key player Cam Mooney and various injuries to other key players during the year. This means that they all have to perform at their best and work hard for each other to get their wins. Unfortunately it was their poor work ethic which cost them at the start of the year and derailed their year. Their success in the first two games against the Lions and Kangaroos might have given them a false perception of where they really were compared with the rest of the competition.

This so called bad year has put the pressure firmly on coach Mark Thompson. But he shouldn’t be the one taking all the blame and he should not have to pay the price of this year with his job for his team’s lacklustre performance. The coach can only devise a game plan and hope the team will implement it, unfortunately they couldn’t even do that in the last game against Hawthorn. Although the heat has been on Thompson, it has been good to see senior players like Scarlet and Ling publicly back their coach. At least it shows that the playing group realises that much of the blame falls with them.

Looking forward to next year, they should recruit heavily in a key position back man as well as skilful and quick midfielders. The arrival of Hawkins will vastly improve a dysfunctional forward line and a bit of pace in the midfield will complement nicely with the ball winning players who are already there.

Geelong has the foundations of a premiership team, all they need now is a few tweaks to the team and to back their coach’s game plan 100%. As I said earlier, in previous years they exceeded their potential, this year they crashed back down to earth but all is not lost as with a few changes the future looks bright down at Skilled Stadium.

Tags: The Match Referee

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