NAKIA Cockatoo has signed a one-year contract extension and will remain with the club until the end of 2020.
The explosive Cat overcame a year-long stint on the sidelines to return via the VFL earlier this month and sits at a positive point in his injury rehabilitation.
Coach Chris Scott says Geelong has been playing the long game with the 22-year-old Cat and will continue to do so into next year.
“We were always focused around his upcoming preseason and next year as being the priority compared to getting back to play this year – which is why he has been recontracted,” Scott said.
There have been some murmurings around his contract situation… if there was any doubt, even given that I’ve talked about us prioritising his preseason next season, then let’s remove it.
“The best way we can communicate it is just to stress we’re playing the long game with Nakia.”
Cockatoo has played 34 AFL games in his first five seasons at the club, and was last seen in Round 3 of last year when he injured his PCL against the West Coast Eagles.
The big-bodied midfielder and forward then suffered a subsequent setback on his return via the VFL in July of last year.
Cockatoo looks likely to line-up in the VFL for the second time this season this coming weekend, after the club managed his hamstring tightness for the previous two outings.
View this post on Instagram
“It looks as if he’ll play – which is a really good sign,” Scott said.
“We’re really conservative with him. He got a bit tight last week out of the blue. The decision was made early on not to play him. He’s recovered from that and trained really well so all signs point to him playing this week.”