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Cats cannot be Chappy focused

My first game: Mitch Duncan Mitch Duncan discusses his first game of AFL
Jimmy Bartel of the Cats in action during the 2014 AFL Round 12 match between the Geelong Cats and the Carlton Blues at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on June 06, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jimmy Bartel says it will be strange playing against Chappy this Friday night.

Geelong patron Frank Costa says Friday night the Cats will put friendships aside when they meet Chappy for the first time as a Bomber at Etihad Stadium.  

Over 10 games in the black and red, Paul Chapman has averaged 20.7 disposals and one goal.

“They will treat him like any other Essendon player. They won’t treat him any better or worse, they won’t hit him any harder or softer,” Costa told News Limited.

After coming off a 40-point loss against the Suns, Costa says the Cats won’t take any chances when they meet their former teammate for Round 15.

“Geelong can’t afford to take anybody lightly at this stage after last weekend.

“They will go out to play the best game of footy they can and Chappy will be a dangerous forward that they have to cover and that’s how they will treat it.”

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Having played side-by-side with Chappy for over a decade, Bartel admits playing against such an old and familiar teammate will be a “strange” experience.

“It will be really strange, I have played 11 years of footy with him. He is an absolute champion of our club,” Bartel told News Limited.

“We shared a lot of good memories, we played in three premierships and he is a big part of the success we had at the club.

“Everyone has a lot of respect for Chappy and we know he damaging he can be.”

However, Bartel concedes Chappy is not the only player the Cats can worry about on Friday night.

“They have some very good players at Essendon and he is one of them, but we can’t be too Chappy focused even though we know how good he is,” Bartel said.

Bartel says the Cats cannot let last week’s defeat affect them and the only way to outrun a team like Essendon is to bring their best footy to the park.

“If we go around with our heads down then we will get beaten. Essendon is certainly a very good side, especially at Etihad Stadium,” Bartel said.

“They have a pretty deep midfield and they have some good key position players in their forwards and backs. They are a good side, they have played some really good footy against us (in the past).

“If we play the way we did (against Gold Coast) we will probably get beaten. We need a big improvement.

“We need to use the ball well … we didn’t do that (against Gold Coast). It’s a quick game there and they play there a lot more often than we do.

“It’s going to be a tough match.”
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs