Selwood to miss Cats’ AFL clash with Lions
Shayne Hope |
Geelong will rest record-breaking captain Joel Selwood from the AFL clash with Brisbane in round four under their ongoing rotation policy.
The Cats, who host the Lions on Friday night, have made no secret they are attempting to manage certain players’ workloads over the full season in pursuit of a premiership.
They left Shaun Higgins out of their round-two trip to Sydney and fellow veteran Selwood is next up for an early-season spell.
The 33-year-old forecast on the eve of the season that he would not play every game in 2022.
“It’s something that’s been earmarked over a number of weeks now,” Cats coach Chris Scott said.
“We’ve got some guys that we are going to be proactive with and they’re not going to play games even when they’re in good health.
“We want to have them at their best deep into the season and we think we’ve got a broad group of players that can all contribute, and we want to use them.
“We don’t want to get stuck with the same 22 every week.”
Scott implemented a version of the rotation policy when he first took the reins at Geelong in 2011 and said his players, while not always happy to be sidelined, understand the logic behind it.
“We do run a bit of a fine line,” Scott said.
“We want them to understand that it’s the best thing long-term but we kind of want them to be a bit annoyed as well, because that’s what competitors are.
“There’s that natural tension there that we have to be OK with.”
Selwood will sit out a week after passing Carlton legend Stephen Kernahan’s record for the most games as an AFL-VFL club captain.
Either Patrick Dangerfield or Tom Stewart will deputise, with a decision set to be made closer to game day.
The pair are joint vice-captains in a three-man leadership group this year and will likely rotate the duty whenever Selwood is absent this year.
Esava Ratugolea is a chance to play against Brisbane despite being substituted out of last week’s comeback win over Collingwood with an ankle injury.
Scott said he will consider using Mark O’Connor in a tagging role on the Lions’ Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale but hinted the Irishman is more likely to play as a genuine midfielder.
O’Connor and Gryan Miers will return to play their first senior games of the season after two reserves hit-outs each.
Both were strong contributors in the VFL last week, as was Quniton Narkle, who put his hand up for a recall with 27 disposals and two goals.AAP