With an unbeaten start to the season for Geelong, things are purring down at the Cattery in the early stages of 2024, but Mitch Duncan insists there is still plenty of work to do. 

“I guess you never know how you are going to perform," he said on Tuesday. "We were optimistic we could be 4-0 but we have won some close games, we could be 1-3, but we're still working on things.

“We're continuing to grow as a group, we've got some young guys playing great footy at the minute, and the same with some of the experienced players as well, so I think we're getting a real even contribution across the board as well as a couple of great individual performances. 

“It's pleasing that we're 4-0 but we've still got a mountain of work to do. We've got a great stretch of games coming up that will challenge us and we're really looking forward to them.”

The Cats face North Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday afternoon before a run of Brisbane in Brisbane, Carlton and then Melbourne at the MCG, before a date with Port Adelaide at home.

After that, it’s the much improved Suns on the Gold Coast, and the league leading Giants in Geelong.

It’s a testing run, but with strong performances from every corner of the list, there’s an air of early season optimism in Geelong. 

Duncan himself is one of those players who has started the season well, and will this weekend be awarded AFL Life Membership after logging a total of 300 AFL games, including pre-season games and other official AFL fixtures. 

With 277 official games currently under his belt, he is set to pass former teammates Harry Taylor and Andrew Mackie (280) and then Matthew Scarlet (284) over the next couple of months, which will place him in the club’s all time top 10 for games played, something that he admits, he’s well aware of. 

“I do look at them a little bit when you get this close and just with past teammates, like with Hawk (Tom Hawkins) taking over some of his milestones, you're like 'wow', I'm still lucky enough to play with Hawk and I played a lot with those other ex teammates that have done so much for the footy club.

“I'm just lucky that they left the footy club in a place that allows us to do what we love doing and be successful, so I'd like to thank them as well. 

“[But], don't worry I'll remind Mack about it when I'm just about to take him over.”