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Cats rally around Clark

Peter Ryan - AFL Media  May 9, 2015 1:40 PM

AFL 2015 Rd 06 - Collingwood v Geelong

Chris Scott says the Cats will rally around Mitch Clark

GEELONG coach Chris Scott says the Cats will rally around key forward Mitch Clark whenever he needs support, as his personal welfare is the club's number one priority.

The 26-year-old left the playing arena in obvious distress after Geelong's 41-win over Collingwood on Friday night.

Clark did not sing the club song and Scott lead him to a different room from the celebrating players.

Scott kept the nature of any discussion he had with Clark private, however speaking on ABC radio on Saturday morning the coach said all Clark needed to know was that everyone at Geelong was there for him if or when he needed the support.

"I'm going to be really careful speaking on Mitch's behalf and make sure that we respect the sensitivities around it," Scott said.  

"I've been in contact with Mitch and spent a bit of time with him afterwards, but Mitch just needs to know that we are there for him."

"I'm certainly not suggesting that there is a huge problem. The honest answer is we just don't know if there is a problem or not."

Clark initially retired from football in 2014 after being diagnosed with clinical depression.

He was on Melbourne's list at the time, with a foot injury interrupting his spell at the Demons.

When considering a comeback, Clark was advised to change his environment and joined Geelong at the start of 2015.

He played alongside Scott and Geelong assistants Nigel Lappin and Troy Selwood during his time at the Brisbane Lions.

He has played five out of six games in 2015 and passed the 100-game milestone in round three.

Scott said Clark has been clear he would need to manage his mental health for the rest of his career and the club would respect the sensitivity and need for confidentiality.

The coach said the club did not believe an opponent or spectator had said anything untoward to Clark during the game. 

He said Clark was already a respected person at Geelong.

"I couldn't speak any more highly of the way Mitch approached it," Scott said.