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Cats add eight

Father and Son Bill Brownless talks to his son Oscar after Geelong selected him at pick 74
Jordan Clark was selected at pick 15 in the National Draft - Geelong Cats
Jordan Clark was selected at pick 15 in the National Draft

Geelong has added eight new players after a successful national and rookie draft.

In the national draft, the Cats welcome Jordan Clark (selection 15), Ben Jarvis (48), Jacob Kennerely (50), Darcy Fort (65), Jake Tarca (68) and Oscar Brownless (74).

The rookie draft saw the Cats add Tom Atkins (11) and Blake Schlensog (category B).

Clark is a talented footballer who earned All Australian honours at the U18 national championships and was also named as Western Australia’s most valuable player.

He broke into the Claremont senior team late in the WAFL season after beginning the campaign in the Colts competition.

Clark reads the play well and uses the ball well. He has played mainly as a defender but can also push into the midfield. Clark is a talented cricketer who represented Australia at junior level.

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Jarvis and Kennerley attended Rostrevor College as boarders, both playing with Norwood at under 18 level.

Jarvis hails from Port Lincoln before moving to Adelaide two years ago. He has spent the past two seasons with Norwood and was impressive in helping South Australia win the U18 national championship. A versatile player that can fill multiple roles, Jarvis has played mainly as a forward.

Kennerley broke the two kilometre time trial record at the draft combine. Kennerley grew up in Cummins before relocating to Adelaide in year 10. He was a key player in South Australia’s championship win, narrowly missing All Australian selection. Kennerley plays mainly as a winger but can also play across half back.

Fort played his under 18 football with the Geelong Falcons. A South Barwon player, Fort played VFL with Werribee and Footscray before moving to South Australia in 2016 to play with Central Districts. A ruckman, Fort represented South Australia against Western Australia this year.

A small forward for South Adelaide, Tarca progressed from under 18 level to reserves football in 2018. Tarca booted four goals in the SANFL under 18 grand final, and was a member of the South Australian U18 squad that won the national championship.

Brownless joins the Cats as a father-son selection. He helped the Geelong Falcons win the TAC Cup premiership in 2017 and continued his impressive form in the 2018 campaign. Brownless finished third in the Falcons best and fairest this year.

Brownless has excellent stamina and reads the game well. He represented Victoria Country at the U18 championships and impressed at the draft combine. Oscar is the son of Cats legend Billy Brownless who kicked 441 goals in 198 games.

Atkins is well known to the Cats, having played 53 VFL games over the past five years. He won Geelong’s VFL best and fairest in 2016 and 2018, and showed his leadership qualities by captaining the squad in 2018. Atkins has been named in the Cats best players in 35 of his 53 games.

Atkins was named as captain of the VFL team of the year and averaged 21 disposals and nine tackles per game. He was the leading tackler in the VFL.

Schlensog has come through the Cats next generation academy, and has shown rapid improvement. A forward-ruck, Schlensog received a call up to the Victoria Country U18 squad and finished fourth in the Falcons best and fairest.

“We are very excited to get a mix of players, a mix of experience and a mix of capabilities out on the footy field,” Geelong’s recruiting and list manager Stephen Wells said.

“There’s a sense of excitement and relief. Relief that the draft is over, and excitement that we have been able to give a number of players a great opportunity. I think another aspect of the relief is all the planning and preparation we did meant the draft was reasonably predictable for us.”

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