Geelong will be searching for a creative midfield solution against Port Adelaide after reliable on-baller Mark Blicavs suffered a high-grade hamstring injury against Fremantle on Saturday.  

The Cats however will have a list of potential replacements pushing for an AFL return this week, with Blicavs injury opening up an opportunity for a number of players who have shown terrific form in the VFL.

Blicavs has been one Geelong’s most durable and consistent players, missing just two games in the past six seasons including all 19 games to this point in 2023.

But the Cats will benefit from their list depth in his absence, with plenty of AFL-listed players building momentum this season as they sharpen their games in the VFL.


Brandan Parfitt will be one option available for Chris Scott, coming off 40 disposals and six clearances against the Northern Bullants on Sunday.

The 25-year-old has put his best foot forward over the past month, averaging 29 disposals and six clearances over his last four full games while also hitting the scoreboard frequently.

The tough midfielder has played five AFL games for the Cats this year, with his last game coming in round 11 against Greater Western Sydney.

Chris Scott also touched on Esava Ratugolea in his post-match press conference, as another who could play an important role for Geelong in 2023.

“We prefer to look at the situation that it presents opportunity,” Scott said.

“We have some players that haven’t been in our team, that I am really confident are going to end up being really good players for us.

"Esava Ratugolea didn’t play today, this may very well open things up for him.

"I think about Brandan Parfitt, he’s had one of those years but maybe this is the chance for guys like that to come in and have an influence to help turn it around for us.”


Ratugolea has featured in 13 games for the Cats this season, finding a new home in defence and playing an important role earlier in the year.

The Flying Fijian spent the first half of the VFL Cats game against the Northern Bullants down back, before interestingly being thrown into the ruck for the majority of the second half.

Ollie Dempsey has put his hand up following some stellar form in the VFL recently, including a spectacular 29-disposal and five-goal performance against the Northern Bullants.

Mitch Knevitt has also impressed in his VFL return, while Sam Menegola now has five games under his belt and continues to build form after returning from a long-term knee injury.

No matter who is added to the midfield, the Cats will still have their talented young core to help them against Port Adelaide, with the likes of Tanner Bruhn and Max Holmes continuing to shine in 2023.

Chris Scott complimented a host of new players for their outstanding first year at Geelong, speaking on how important their impact has been no matter what the result.

“That’s been one of the upsides for us this year, we have seen quite a lot of new guys to our club like Ollie Henry, Jack Bowes and Tanner Bruhn in significant roles,” Scott said.

“It’s not like we’ve put them in around the edges and asked them to be role players, they have been right in the thick of it and have shown signs that they can be really good players for it.

"I think when we find our best, those guys are going to really complement us.”