LACHIE Fogarty has produced a best-afield performance to push his case for an AFL recall as the Cats’ Reserves took on the Bulldogs on the Gold Coast.
Fogarty kicked two goals from the midfield whilst finding plenty of the ball to drive Geelong’s midfield unit.
New Cat Josh Jenkins was particularly impressed with the young Cat’s efforts.
“He’s not a player I really knew much about coming across but as a player and as a person I really enjoy playing with him and hanging out with him,” Jenkins says.
“He’s got a great attitude and he’d probably be the most unlucky in the squad that’s not in the side and has played some really good games at AFL level.
“You wouldn’t know he’s out of the side with his attitude and that that was on display today, he played really well.
“He played to his strengths, inside the contest was fantastic and snuck forward and kicked a couple goals which is great and hopefully he gets an opportunity really soon."
Jenkins shared the ruck duties while rotating forward with Esava Ratugolea, taking on the Bulldogs’ Jordan Sweet in the centre circle.
Ratugolea played his first reserves level match since August 2018 and should gain plenty of confidence from the run, pulling in some strong contested marks and finding plenty of ball around the ground.
“Esava and I, we both probably give away an inch or two, so it’s really good for us both to get in there and try to play to our strengths,” Jenkins says.
“He’s quite a monster the big fella from North Adelaide (Jordan Sweet). He was quite a handful for us both but that’s what we’re going to be faced with at AFL level.
“He’s a big guy and was quite dominant in the hitouts but we were able to get around the ground and get involved.
A duo of first-year Cats caught the eye of Jenkins, with Francis Evans and Sam De Koning firming as talented prospects for the years ahead.
Evans played more inside than he had in recent weeks, attending centre bounces as he continues his football education.
“I really liked Francis Evans, he’s really composed and calm,” Jenkins says.
“Even people who follow underage footy wouldn’t know much about him with his background and coming through amateur footy.
“He’s probably going to find it hard to get an opportunity this season but if he does he’s ready to go, I really liked his performance.
“Another one who’s probably going to find it hard to get a game this year, but another good first year player is Sam De Koning.
“Like his brother, he looks really good as a ruckman.
“There’s a lot of talk about his best position and he was probably drafted as a tall defender but he’s about 202cm and he reckons he’s still growing and he looks really good around the ground in the ruck so he might be one to watch for as well.”
Nakia Cockatoo spent time up forward and continued to show more of his top end speed.
Cockatoo kicked a classy, running goal from 50 metres out on the boundary to cap off a solid afternoon.
Quninton Narkle worked his way into the game, showing a number of strong fends and trademark contested work as the match progressed.
The match ended with the Bulldogs doing the lion's share of the scoring after a tight contest for the majority of the match.
“There are no actual scoreboards but I think we can be honest and say the Dogs got a hold of us late in the game,” Jenkins says.
“They had three or four on the bench while we only had one or two. That can take its toll.
“We probably started slowly and then rebounded hard, similar to the AFL game we really got back into the contest and that’s a great lesson for young guys.”