FOUR Cats will get their first taste of AFL experience against the Suns as Geelong kicks off its 2020 Marsh Community Series on the Gold Coast.
Second year Cats and former schoolmates Ben Jarvis and Jacob Kennerley will join fresh draftees Brad Close and Cooper Stephens in a strong Cats line-up.
Backline duo Tom Stewart and Jordan Clark have also both been named after overcoming a tough summer of rehabilitation, while Josh Jenkins will play his first game in the hoops.
Jarvis and Kennerley spent the 2019 season in the VFL, playing 15 and 18 games respectively.
A powerful, marking forward, Jarvis has put on considerable size since arriving at the club and has impressed assistant coach Nigel Lappin this pre-season.
“It’s funny what a year can do in the system. He’s really matured, not just his body but also in his knowledge about the game," Lappin said after last week's hitout with the Magpies.
“He’s spent a lot of the preseason working really closely with Harry Taylor, so Harry’s done a hell of a lot of work from a coaching point of view."
Kennerley turned heads early in the preseason when he took out the club’s first shuttle run, beating out the Cats’ first-to-fourth year players with a gut-busting effort.
The 19-year-old South Australian is a noted runner, having topped his draft class in the 2km time trial with an impressive time of 6:04 minutes at the draft combine.
Twenty-one-year-old Brad Close came to the Cats after being selected with pick 14 in the 2019 rookie draft, following a premiership winning season with Glenelg in the SANFL.
At the other end of the draft was fellow debutant Cooper Stephens, taken with pick 16 in the National Draft as a hard-running, inside mid.
Patrick Dangerfield will captain the side, with Joel Selwood still recovering from offseason surgery on his hamstring.
Cats fans can catch the game on Fox Footy or the AFL Live app from 6:30 AEST Saturday, February 22.
B: J Bews, M Blicavs, J Clark
HB: T Stewart, H Taylor, Z Tuohy
C: J Parsons, T Atkins, Z Guthrie
HF: G Miers, B Close, G Rohan
F: T Hawkins, E Ratugolea, J Jenkins
R: D Fort, C Guthrie, P Dangerfield
I/C: R Stanley, G Ablett, B Jarvis, C Stephens, C Constable, Q Narkle, J Kennerley, L Henderson
EMG: O Brownless, J Tarca, B Schlensog, C Taheny
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