CAM Guthrie is looking as settled as ever in 2019.
It’s a big statement considering the experienced Cat has played six seasons with 18 or more games at the top level, but with Guthrie finding his niche as an integral part of one of the game’s top performing engine rooms, it’s hard to deny.
Midfield coach Matthew Knights is happy to have Guthrie aboard in a more permanent capacity.
“He’s obviously played half-back and midfield before in previous years, but he’s really established himself in the midfield this year,” Knights says.
“He’s a pleasure to coach. He really is invested in the team and does as much research as anyone on the opposition leading into a game. He’s quite driven.
“He’s a quiet achiever but someone we really value in the midfield group. I know his peers like Joel and Mitch really respect him and the way he goes about his footy. He’s a really important piece of our midfield puzzle at the moment.
Guthrie fills a unique role in a midfield that boasts the offensive firepower of players such as Dangerfield and Kelly.
“He’s the one player in our midfield that possibly at times will line up against an opposition player and go after him, but also he can play his own game,” Knights says.
“He’s played on some excellent players. He lined up against Dustin Martin on the weekend and we thought he did a fantastic job.
“Some of his defensive pressure and his tackling and also his winning the ball has been a real pivotal part of our form up until this point.”
Guthrie has been earmarked for some of the most difficult tasks in football.
“Cam’s probably about six foot himself, but also has the power and speed to match guys like Dustin Martin or if you look at Collingwood a guy like Treloar or Coniglio from GWS – those type of guys that have that really fast take-off speed,” Knights says.
“Because he’s playing on good players at times you do get beaten and that’s probably what’s not looked into a little bit. When you’re playing on some of the great players in the competition, sometimes they do beat you in a contest.
“As long as he’s diligently going about his work and mitigating the influence they’re having on the game, then we’re rapt with him.
Knights says Guthrie’s ability in the stoppages, combined with the aforementioned defensive grit, is what makes him such a dependable midfield option.
“He’s got a fine balance between defence and attack,” Knights says.
“One of his strengths is when he gets the ball, he can find little gaps to run through and his disposal is usually pretty efficient. With his handball and kicking he executes really well.
“He’s a really important player for us, critical in our setup and just offers something a bit different with his speed and power around the ball.
“He’s combined well with Rhys (Stanley) and Zac (Smith), in particular the last two weeks. To come away with six clearances from a game is pretty outstanding. Also what he does do, is he limited some of Richmond’s penetration from clearances as well which was really positive.