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Coaches' Word: First Year Players

Geelong brought four first-year Cats into the club last year. - Geelong Cats,Tim Kelly,Gryan Miers,Charlie Constable,Lachie Fogarty
Geelong brought four first-year Cats into the club last year.

Lachie Fogarty

The fact Fogarty forced his way into the side for round one against Melbourne shows just how highly the young forward is rated down at the Cattery.

Fogarty showed off a willingness to tackle, a strong pair of hands above his head for his size and was thrown into the midfield to finish the year in the VFL.

Stats
Games Played - 15
Goals - 5
Disposals (Avg) – 13.27
Tackles (Avg) - 3.47

Standout Game
Round 5 vs Port Adelaide – 17 disposals, 10 tackles, nine contested possessions

Coaches Comments (James Rahilly):

“Lachie was fantastic – he played that pressure forward role. He’s really good below his knees, a really clean player and great tackler. He’s another one that we want him to continue to work on his forward craft but we also saw late in the year when he played in the midfield at VFL level he can be a very good mid for us in the future.

“A strong pre-season will be really important for Lachie. He had a slightly interrupted pre-season last year so we will have a great opportunity to work on his strengths and craft to set the foundation next year.”

Charlie Constable

Perhaps the unluckiest of the Cats not to see a senior game last year, Constable turned heads in his first year for the Cats’ VFL side.

The well-sized midfielder was a magnet at the reserve level, topping the 30 disposal mark on six occasions.  Constable’s senior debut was delayed only by the star-studded list of names ahead of him in the midfield at the club.

Stats (VFL)
Games Played - 15
Goals - 4
Times in Best - 4
Disposals (Avg) - 24

Standout Game
Round 15 vs Sandringham – 36 disposals, eight marks, one goal

Coaches Comments (Shane O'Bree):

“Charlie had a really good learning year first up after being drafted. Obviously for him to get a taste of it in the JLT Series was great. Charlie has got an amazing ability to accumulate and use the ball effectively. He is developing the transition on the outside and being able to play different roles.”

“We played him at half back for a few games. His height helps him with his flexibility to play small and tall. Another pre-season with Charlie will only make him a better and more versatile player.”

Tim Kelly

Chris Scott and Cats fans knew they had something in Tim Kelly from the moment he sharked the first bounce in the Cats first JLT hit-out in Townsville.

The smooth-moving mid put together a remarkable first season in the league after being taken with the 24th pick in last year’s draft, culminating in being named the AFLPA’s best first year player.

Kelly’s future is now uncertain, with the young star requesting a trade home to Perth.

Stats
Games Played - 23
Goals - 24
Disposals (Avg) - 22.87
Tackles (Avg) - 3.52
Clearances (Avg) - 4.26

Standout Game

Round 19 vs Richmond – 36 disposals, one goal, three tackles, four clearances, three Brownlow votes

Coaches Comments (James Rahilly):

“As soon as Tim walked in the door, just his drive to be an AFL player was evident. He was really ready to go. He’s a really clean player, good in a contest, he gets out after the ball, outnumbers really well, was dangerous when forward and kicked goals as well.

“He had a great year Tim and we couldn’t have asked much more of him.”

Gryan Miers

Miers spent 2018 adjusting to senior football after a prolific season at TAC Cup level where he kicked 50 goals including seven in the Geelong Falcons' Grand Final win.

The small forward also consistently got amongst the goals at VFL level, registering a major in 14 of his 20 appearances.

Stats (VFL)
Games Played - 20
Goals - 20
Times in Best - 3
Disposals (Avg) – 14.9

Standout Game
Round 11 vs Port Melbourne – 21 disposals, six marks, one goal

Coaches Comments (Shane O'Bree):

“Gryan had a really good learning year for him, playing against men. His assets are his running capabilities. He plays that high forward role really well where he transitions back and helps our defence and then gets forward and kicks goals.” 

“Gryan will focus on building elite pressure as a small forward over the pre-season which will help him take his game to the next level.” 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs