The team at geelongcats.com.au have cobbled together their notes from the pre-season to bring you their assessment of every player on the list through the pre-season and NAB Challenge.
Each club looks to get something different out of the pre-season fixtures, but we hope these summaries will give you an idea of how each player is tracking just a week out from round one.
First up, we take a look at players with jumper numbers from 1 to 10.
1. Rhys Stanley – ruck/forward (3 NAB Challenge games)
Began the pre-season in the rehab group but timed his run perfectly to play all three pre-season games and average 10 hit outs per game in a tandem with Zac Smith which will only get better.
2. Billie Smedts – defender (0 NAB Challenge games)
Shoulder surgery from an innocuous training incident has Smedts working his way back but will make his return in the VFL early.
3. Jimmy Bartel – midfielder/defender (2 NAB Challenge games)
Warmed up with 14 disposals in Shepparton’s 40 degree heat in NAB2 and was on fire early in NAB3 with 6 disposals in the first term against the Dockers before a head knock ended his day. Will play everywhere this year.
4. Andrew Mackie – defender (2 NAB Challenge games)
Keeps on keeping on. Did what was needed in two NAB games averaging 14 disposals and may even spend time away from defence throughout the season.
5. Nakia Cocktaoo – forward (3 NAB Challenge games)
Hasn’t left the side of Patrick Dangerfield all summer and is ready to bear the fruits of that experience. Averaged nine disposals, four tackles and a goal a game across the NAB Challenge but will miss rounds one and two through suspension.
6. Lincoln McCarthy – forward (3 NAB Challenge games)
Surprise packet of the pre-season for those outside the club; surprised no one within it. Three goals in NAB3 the highlight and looks to have locked down the small forward role in the best 22.
7. Harry Taylor – defender (3 NAB Challenge games)
Improved from each NAB Challenge game to the next. Averaged 12 disposals but more importantly had 6 marks per game on average and will benefit from the inclusion of Lachie Henderson down back.
8. Jake Kolodjashnij – defender (3 NAB Challenge games)
Enjoyed playing all three pre-season fixtures playing on talls and smalls. Had 10 kicks and six handballs with 8 marks in NAB2 against Essendon and will be asked for similar numbers this season.
9. Zac Smith – ruck (3 NAB Challenge games)
Easily the find of the NAB Challenge. Has shown all pre-season exactly why he was so highly sought after by the Cats and then showed the rest of the football world by averaging 13 disposals, three marks, 13 hit outs and six clearances.
10. Daniel Menzel – forward (1 NAB Challenge game)
Shone in NAB1 under the lights of Simonds Stadium with 11 kicks, eight handballs, four marks and 1.1 on the scoreboard against the Pies. Will play for the VFL Cats this weekend in his final tune up for round one.