Geelong was thrilled to land Nathan Kreuger in a trade with Carlton ahead of the 2019 season.
The key tall did nothing to dampen that enthusiasm this season after the Cats traded pick 42 to Carlton for the rights to the pre-listed, state league player.
The 196cm Kreuger showed plenty of the elusiveness and athleticism that enticed the club to take a chance on the 20-year-old forward/defender.
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A first-year key forward kicking a big bag of six VFL goals is enough to catch the attention of even the most seasoned and doubtful supporters.
Kreuger completed that feat in late May against Coburg.
The performance highlighted Kreuger’s ability to find space and convert his chances as the athletic 196cm tall tantalised with a dominant display.
Watch Kreuger kick all six majors below.
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We spoke to VFL coach Shane O’Bree after Kreuger showed off his ability to be reliable swingman in a midseason clash with Richmond VFL.
Kreuger was named in the best as he clunked seven marks and kicked three goals while playing at both ends.
“He had one of those games where down back he took a lot of intercept marks for us,” O’Bree said.
“And then when he went forward, we just needed some more speed on our last line and obviously that’s Nathan’s attributes with his athleticism.
“He had the ability to win the ball in the air and kick those goals when we needed and he kept us in the game in the last half.”
“I really think that Nathan Kreuger is going to be a terrific player for the Cats in time… I just think he’s got so much upside and potential.”
Geelong Talent ID Manager Troy Selwood named Kreuger as his ‘smoky’ to be a future breakout player for the Cats.
Selwood told the Cats official podcast, To the Final Bell, that Kreuger had made a remarkable turnaround in just 12 months to get drafted by the Cats.
You can listen to Selwood discussing Kreuger from 42:30 in the player below.
Kreuger was the third leading goal-scorer for the Bendigo Bank VFL Cats, finishing his season with 18 majors.
The output is even more impressive when considering that Kreuger spent time at both ends of the ground in 2019.
When the athletic tall was hot, he was hot. Kreuger booted 13 of those 18 goals in a five-week, mid-season purple patch before a knee injury slowed his momentum late in the year.
Kreuger will be hoping to capture that form and take it into next season, pressing his case for a senior debut.
Geelong VFL Leading Goalkickers
Wylie Buzza – 32
Darcy Fort – 23
Nathan Kreuger – 18
Jamaine Jones – 15
Jake Tarca – 12
Ideal Locker Buddy
Nathan Kreuger isn’t your traditional key forward with his athleticism allowing him to play a third tall role alongside the traditional key posts.
Gary Rohan would be an ideal player for Kreuger to learn off, to take in the leading patterns of a highly athletic, mid-sized forward with 10 years of AFL experience.