A young Cats reserves side has locked horns with Fremantle in a thirteen-a-side scratch match at the Dockers’ training base in Cockburn.
No official score was kept, with both sides boasting periods of ascendancy and the Dockers finishing the stronger of the two sides.
Defender Zach Guthrie was the pick of the Cats, defending bravely in a match of repeated forward thrusts given the open space and low numbers.
“It’s good to get an opportunity to just keep on playing games instead of just doing some training,” Guthrie says.
“I’ll just look to keep putting my hand up until the (AFL) opportunity comes along.
“With the shorter breaks coming up hopefully it does provide an opportunity for me and if I do get the opportunity look to grab it with both hands and try and establish myself.”
Irish Cat Stefan Okunbor returned after six months on the sidelines due to a torn achilles and showed plenty of dash in a full match in defence.
Okunbor was like a bull at a gate, throwing himself at every contest as he showed his hunger to pick up where he left off and continue to learn the Australian game.
“He almost killed me at one stage actually, but it’s good to have him back,” Guthrie says.
“Playing as a defender alongside him is really good, you know he’s going to give it his all and provide a few highlights along the way.
“He’s worked really hard to get back to this point so it’s good to have him back.”
Guthrie and Okunbor patrolled the defensive half, matching up on the talened Cam McCarthy and last year’s number nine draft pick Liam Henry.
“It’s good to come up against an opposition that isn’t just a VFL team. It’s good to come up against Freo who we haven’t really played before in this sort of competition,” Guthrie says.
“It’s good to be able to match yourself against guys that have played a lot of AFL footy.”
Dynamic Cat Nakia Cockatoo got through another full hit-out unscathed, playing the majority of the outing through the midfield.
“I thought Cocky provided a few glimpses as well, Parso has been going really well as well I reckon,” Guthrie says.
First-round recruit Sam De Koning played a full match in the ruck in the absence of Darcy Fort and Rhys Stanley, battling manfully against the 203cm, 111kg Lloyd Meek.
Both sides will meet again tomorrow on Optus Stadium, in Round 8 of AFL action.