The match started in a very hot and humid fashion, which impacted the skills of both sides early on. However both sides were playing to win which was evident in the defensive pressure they applied to each other.
Once again it was Geelong’s experienced players that were their best, while Gold Coast had an even spread of the ball between their players. Young players from both sides were desperate to impress and left nothing behind, tackling and running the entire game.
Some young rookie options may have been unearthed today.
Gold Coast- Gary Ablett, Jack Martin, Jaeger O’Meara
Geelong- Joel Selwood, Steve Johnson, Rhys Stanley
- Jimmy Bartel (FWD $549,000) Looked better than he did last year. Has lost a couple of kilos and had it on a string around the ground with 26 disposals. Fourth most expensive forward but will find his way into a few more sides after a best on ground performance.
- Mitch Hallahan (MID $312,000) Best on for the suns. Gold Coast clearly targeted this kid for a reason, used the ball reasonably well through the midfield and had 8 clearances. Awkward 200-500k price range in the midfield though.
- Alex Sexton (FWD/DEF $218,100) A tackle machine, had 6. Followed up his tackles with 18 disposals at 83.3% efficiency. At 200k as a forward or defender could be a very nice selection. Likely to play a few matches (14 in 2014) but might not have as much cash generation as a rookie.
- Zac Smith (RUC $409,600) Was the dominant ruckman today. 13 disposals to go along with 28 hit outs and a goal. Always plays well pre-season but BEWARE has burnt me twice in the past. Clearly the number one ruckman at GCS if he stays fit.
- Adam Saad (DEF/MID $102,400) Showed some good signs today. 13 disposals and handled the ball well under pressure. If he gets elevated he should be a lock for our defensive backlines.
- Josh Caddy (MID $414,300) Had 16 disposals and 4 clearances. Didn’t show enough to warrant selection yet but I’m sure many will keep their eye on him. That 200-500k price range I hate in the midfield.
- Harry Taylor (DEF $446,900) Picked up where he left off last year taking intercept marks everywhere and drifting forward to impact the game. 10 marks and 22 disposals at 90.9% efficiency. At his price he should feature heavily in your considerations.
- Mitch Clark (FWD $155,299) Missed a few easy marks and kicks which comes with missing footy for two years. Kicked two in a row in 4th still and showed some signs that Geelong will have a dangerous forward line in 2015. Still a no for me at the moment.
- Darcy Lang (MID $159,100) Showed signs today, had 14 disposals and averaged 15.9 in the VFL last year. One game in for the Cats in 2014, if he breaks into side will be a good midfield rookie selection.
- Harley Bennell (MID $514,600) Had 16 disposals and 5 tackles. Very explosive but still wary about selecting him. Too much for an initial selection in my opinion.
- Nick Malceski (DEF $566,600) Didn’t really have an impact today; don’t think it’s an indication of how his season will go though. Only had 56% game time. Looks to be playing a sweeping role through the backline. Still too expensive I’d say, GCS have a lot of quality defenders similar to Malc.
- James Kelly (DEF $477,600) Had 20 disposals and three clearances. Spent some time in the midfield and looked good with 6 tackles. Will probably be around the same mark as last year.
- Nakia Cockatoo (MID $177,300) Was very fast and tackled hard but his skills lacked a bit under pressure. Like all Geelong rookies looks very good but needs to make it into the side to provide any value.
- Steven Motlop (FWD/MID $434,700) Played very well through the midfield with 22 possessions and assisted some goals. Awkward price and filled Steve Johnson’s role a bit today, better options out there.
- Jarrod Garlett (MID $152,300) Looked lively kicking two goals. There are probably better, cheaper options out there though.
- David Swallow (MID $554,600) Gave no indication that he’ll be the value selection he was last year. Wasn’t bad but wasn’t good.
- Michael Rischitelli (MID $407,700) Looks like he’s going to be a goal kicking midfielder, will need to see how much of his disposal Gary takes. Awkward price but has potential in a better GCS side.
- Mark Blicavs (MID/RUC 371, 900) A midfielder/ruckman who played off center half back today. Might be effective for the Cats but nor for Supercoach.
Other names to watch:
Guthrie, Gregson, J. Kolodjashnij, K. Kolodjashnij and Smedts.