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VFL: Cats thump Williamstown to make GF

Jesse Stringer of the Cats in action during the 2013 2nd Preliminary Final match between the Geelong Cats and Williamstown at North Port Oval, Melbourne on September 14, 2013. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Jesse Stringer starred for the Cats in their 82-point win
GEELONG VFL coach Matthew Knights believes there are eight to 10 players who could comfortably step up for the Cats' AFL preliminary final against Hawthorn on Friday night.

Paul Chapman's availability is already under a cloud after the veteran forward was reported for his bump on Port Adelaide's Robbie Gray during Geelong's 16-point win in their semi-final.

The Cats' VFL side was dominant in an 82-point preliminary final thrashing of Williamstown on Saturday afternoon, with a number of key contributors putting their hands up for senior selection.

One of those was forward Shane Kersten, 20, who booted four first half-goals before being rested for much of the second half.

His absence raised speculation that Geelong senior coach Chris Scott may have asked Knights to save Kersten for this Friday night's blockbuster against Hawthorn, but that was not the case.

"We just felt that he was a bit sore, he copped a couple of heavy knocks and we just wanted to make sure that he was all right for next week," Knights said after the game.

"It wasn't a direction in regards for next week, from an AFL perspective. It was more about looking after him so he's all right for VFL or AFL next week."

Scott said last week he would have no hesitations in handing Kersten his debut in a big game if his form and the team's structure warranted selection.

But Knights said there were a plethora of options to choose from if the Cats decide to make a change to their line-up to face the Hawks.
"To be honest I think there's eight or 10 guys that can come in and play if required.

"Shane's one of those guys who could easily play next week, if needed."

The speedy Jordan Murdoch was one of the stars in the Cats' VFL win on Saturday before hurting his right knee in a heavy collision with a Seagulls opponent in the third term.

Murdoch had a heavy bandage on his knee in the rooms after the game.

But Knights allayed any fears the injury was serious.

"It was just a light corky. We just wanted to take care of him to make sure it didn't bleed any more. He was fine. He was playing really well before that; his pressure was great," Knights said.

Young Cats midfielder George Horlin-Smith was crucial around the clinches and, perhaps, the team's most influential player.

Horlin-Smith said the players realised the opportunity in front of them if a spot opened in the senior team.

"There are a number of guys around the mark. For us, if we're playing well as a team, then individual performances take care of themselves," Horlin-Smith said.

"There's competition for spots and it's really healthy around the club at the moment, so hopefully that will hold us in good stead."

Geelong 24-16-160 def Williamstown 11-12-78
Goal Kickers: J. Walker 5, S. Kersten 4, J. Murdoch 3, B. Hartman 2, R. Bathie 2, B. Smedts 2, J. Schroder , J. Barham , L. Howe , T. Selwood , T. West , G. Burbury
Best Players: G. Horlin-Smith, J. Murdoch, M. Brown, C. Eardley, J. Walker, M. Sully
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs