AFL post-season: Which path is Geelong travelling?

For a man who has stated he doesn’t like the free agency system, Cats coach Chris Scott certainly doesn’t mind jumping in feet first.

Rivers, McIntosh…and now apparently Frawley AND Clark. Why?

The Cats built their magnificent triple-premiership team on the back of recruiting quality youngsters and developing them. They added Ottens to complement their list.

When Scott led the team in 2011, he received plaudits for bringing in youngsters to ensure Geelong could prolong their success.

Now free agency is here, and we’re making a play for Melbourne’s cast-offs. Are we trying to prolong our spot in the four (as opposed to being good enough to contend on Grand Final day) – if we are it will be at the expense of future development.

I’ve always had my queries about Scott as a coach on match day, now I query the club’s direction. Are we travelling down the pathway of recruiting and developing future stars, or are we heading down another path of playing finals for the sake of playing finals.

I hope Brian Cook has his eye on things.

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And how bout that Jarrad Waite leaving Carlton? North seem to be in the box seat. Brad Scott sees his club belted in a preliminary final and think they’re one unfulfilled talent away from a Grand Final berth. Why do I keep thinking of Richmond, Danny Frawley and Paul Hudson? Good to see Carlton seem keen on replacing Waite with Liam Jones from the Bulldogs. Should keep the fans off Warnock’s back for a few minutes.

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About Stephen Cooke

Cumbersome ruckman of the garden variety


  1. Cookie – trade period is always one great mystery to me. I wish people would stop saying Jared Rivers has been good for Geelong. He has been one of the major problems. Can’t kick and makes poor decisions. Frawley is OK, but that’s the problem; he’s only OK. Is he a better long term proposition than Mitch Brown? Maybe yes, maybe no. But lets not spend $600K per year to find out.

    As for Mitch Clarke – no thank you. He would sit beautifully at Collingwood alongside the big Q stick, the big Jesse, and the big C. Dawes.

    Has everyone forgotten Vardy?

  2. The coaching staff seem to have forgotten Vardy, that’s the problem.
    You can’t do both – the Cats need to concentrate on recruiting more youngsters and developing them. Have a crack at that flag in 3 years. No sense in finishing 4th to 6th again and getting beaten in the early rounds.
    To get Clark you have to give something – he’s not a free agent – and that worries me. Which youngster are they going to give up?

  3. While we certainly built through the draft, they were better picks than the ones we get now. And they were complemented by some pretty amazing father-son luck which won’t come around again. Nearly an entire spine. While I’m cautious about putting too much stock in the trade market, I trust that they’ll make the right choices. To get Rivers and McIntosh, we didn’t sacrifice much.

    Dips, I disagree on Rivers. I think most will be surprised to find him sitting in the top 5 of the Geelong B&F on Thursday night but I won’t be. Spoil, mark, hit a short target and long-bomb out of there is all he needs to be able to do and he does that well. Think of him almost as Lonergan-lite. And while we’re all big on Vardy, he’s essentially lost 2 seasons of footy and hasn’t been particularly impressive when he has played since ’11. A lot of that is due to those injuries though. I wouldn’t see the recruitment of Clark as a hindrance to Vardy’s development. I’d rather see him play 2nd ruck anyway.

    My biggest concern as a Cats man is who in the bluest of blue hells is going to play 1st ruck. It can’t be McIntosh. Dawson Simpson doesn’t fill me with confidence either. Probably need to draft and develop one.

  4. Andrew Starkie says

    Considering I have based much of my anti-Carlton comedy over the past decade on Waite, I’m worried.

    I honestly have no idea why any club would want him. He is a lazy, selfish, stupid player.

  5. Kaine – I think Rivers has everyone fooled. He wouldn’t get a game at Hawthorn, Freo, Swans, Port or probably North. We have to set our sights higher. I’d prefer they play Thurlow, or Bews, or Kolodjashni or even Mitch Brown.

  6. A few things: Vardy, Walker, Brown and Kersten haven’t shown anything. All are injured or not up to scratch. Back-line is ageing too. The fact that we have just delisted another 5 shows there is a lot of work to do to fill the list up – we need to compensate for the 5 blokes we cut in a way that fits an appropriate age profile for the club. You can’t have 25 blokes aged 18 and 15 blokes aged 30+.

    On that point, we have a paucity of blokes aged 25/26/27 on our list. Frawley and Clark fit the age profile perfectly and they are better than what we have or don’t in that position right now.

    They are cheap Frawley will be free. Clark late second round.

    As Swans and Hawks have shown development will only get you so far you have to poach from other clubs these days (even Wells has admitted as much). Now before everyone gets on the “we drafted really well” bandwagon remember Ablett and Scarlett were father-sons.

    FA and mature aged recruits aren’t “keeping anyone out of the side” if Brown or whoever is good enough they will play ahead of Clark or Frawley.

    You talk about playing finals at the expense of draft pics and development of younger players. I’d rather play 1 final than move down the order a get pick 10 instead of pick 14.

  7. Geelong can’t just sit back and do nothing whilst sides like Hawthorn keep their premiership window open by trading in players from other teams (they had 6 on Saturday from other teams I believe).

    If they sit back and try and have another crack in 3 years, they’ll be up against the likes of Gold Coast and all their top draft picks, with a team of draft picks no higher than 15 or so, and without Bartel, Enright, Johnson, Kelly, Lonergan etc. at that point.

    They have barely anyone outside of Hawkins and Selwood in the mid 20’s/prime of their career atm, so bringing in one or two others isn’t a bad idea at all, particularly the key position players they’re missing.

    Vardy is clearly injury prone, so you can’t rely on him to fill a spot (which they did this year by getting rid of Podsiadly & Chapman), even the games he’s played he hasn’t proven himself up to AFL level yet by any means (apart from one game in 2011 from memory).

    Personally I don’t see an immediate need for Frawley, but he certainly wouldn’t hinder them.

  8. I know it happens every year, more so with free agency, but we get very starry eyed about some players who aren’t as good as they are being cracked up to be.

    Frawley, yes an ex All Australian, but the idea that he is the key to backline success wherever he goes is fanciful. That teams coudldget a seriously high draft pick for him, or that he can shop around for $700K plus is bizarre. I am surprised that strong teams see him as a player to bid for. Yes, teh Hawks and Cats have made an art of taking players from bottom clubs an dshaving them play a role in success, but I don’t see it with him. Have a look at the Bont’s goal where Frawley rivals Watts for concrete feet.

    Same with Waite. His inconsistency is legendary. He saves his best game of the year for Richmond, will pull out 2-3 others as well, but is a 25% player at best, which is a shame for someone with just so much talent. Again, surprised North see him as the player to bridge the gap to take them top 2


  9. I’m sorry Dips but you couldn’t be further from the truth regarding Rivers. He had an outstanding year and will finish top five in the b n f. His intercept marking is excellent and if you check the stats, one of the best in the league at it.
    Frawley is costing Geelong nothing In terms of picks so gaining a ready made replacement for lonergan is clear cut.
    Pretty sure hawthorn supporters may have questioned there clubs recruitment of spangher, hale and ceglar. Since proven to be well planned and executed recruiting.

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