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Coaches' Word: Three Musketeers

Trio sign on Brandan Parfitt chats to three of this best mates at the Cats after they signed two-year contract extensions

They share a house together and will potentially share the forward line in 2019 - here's how the seasons of Narkle, Parfitt and Ratugolea ranked in the eyes of the coaches.

Quinton Narkle

‘Sparkle’ Narkle dazzled on debut against the Dogs after some tantalising VFL form made him impossible not to pick.

An explosive VFL run from half back to half forward that ended with a goal foreshadowed just what this man is capable of, and his AFL form did nothing to diminish that expectation.

If Narkle can put a full pre-season together expectations will be high heading into 2019.

Stats
Games Played - 6
Goals - 5
Disposals (Avg) – 12.17
Tackles (Avg) – 2.33

Standout Game
Round 15 vs Western Bulldogs – 14 disposals, six tackles, two goals

Coaches Comments (James Rahilly):

“I think if you look back with Quinton coming off the knee, to come in and play good, strong VFL footy and get an opportunity in the AFL and play pretty well – that’s a great effort.”

“He showed that he’s definitely at the level. He’s a contested beast around the ball and now he can have a full pre-season and work on his transition and his run to get to as many contests as he can.”

Esava Ratugolea

Ratugolea shot to prominence and cult figure status in record time this season. The second forward managed eight games before a nasty ankle injury ended his year prematurely.

Sav showed off a great pair of hands and good mobility for his size, however expectations need to be tempered heading into next year. With less than ten games under his belt and coming off a serious injury, the key pillar could be excused for a slow start to the year.

Stats
Games Played - 8
Goals - 7
Disposals (Avg) – 8.63
Contested Marks (Avg) – 1.50

Standout Game
Round 7 vs Collingwood – 15 disposals, one goal, three contested marks

Coaches Comments (James Rahilly):

“The development he had in the pre-season was quite phenomenal. From where he came from last year he really developed quite quickly over the pre-season.

“He was that really good foil as that second tall target and second ruck. He played it really well, his ability to follow up, give us a contest and bring the ball to ground was at an elite level.

“We missed Sav when he was out of the side. He was really diligent with his rehab and ticked a lot of boxes. It speaks a lot to his professionalism and character that Sav got himself in a position following his injury to return to play VFL and put his hand up for AFL selection.”

Brandan Parfitt

Parfitt’s damaging performance against the Saints early in the year showcased just what the second-year Cat is capable of. Parfitt has a sense of time and ability to move through traffic that will set him in good stead to take his game to the next level.

The task now for Parfitt is to get his body right and close the gap between his best and worst games.

Stats
Games Played - 19
Goals - 15
Disposals (Avg) – 15.85
Tackles (Avg) – 4.00

Standout Game
Round 4 vs St Kilda – 28 disposals, three goals, seven tackles, two Brownlow votes

Coaches Comments (James Rahilly):

“It was quite frustrating when he got injured because he was probably in the best form of his short career. He had a few weeks off and probably took a while to get going again.

“He then played some pretty good games for us and got a lot more opportunity through the midfield towards the end of the year. We probably see him playing there a fair bit more.

“He definitely can play that forward role and he’s starting to add a few more goals there and he probably needs to continue to develop that. Brandan can be quite dangerous down there, but we see him definitely helping us around the ball and through the midfield.”

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