Geelong has completed its list changes ahead of the national draft and five Cats signing contract extensions.
The club has recontracted Quinton Narkle, Darcy Fort, Zach Guthrie, Ben Jarvis and Stefan Okunbor for the 2021 season. Jake Tarca will not be offered a new contract.
Narkle played 17 games and kicked 10 goals in his four seasons at GMHBA Stadium. He debuted in round 15 2018 against the Bulldogs and played three finals, all in 2019.
Fort began the season as the Cats ruckman, playing five of the opening seven games. He has played eight times and kicked six goals in his two seasons at the Cats.
Guthrie has played 20 times since debuting in 2017. He played three games in 2020 and registered his first goals, kicking two against North Melbourne.
Jarvis made his AFL debut in round 17 against Richmond. He was originally selected in the 2018 national draft.
Okunbor has shown vast development since joining the Cats as a category B rookie from Ireland. He played at VFL level in 2019 and fought back from an achilles injury this year.
“We see Quinton, Darcy, Zach, Ben and Stefan as still having improvement in front of them,” Lloyd said.
“They each had limited opportunities this year, but all five players worked hard and got better. We are looking forward to their continued improvement.”
Tarca joined the Cats from South Adelaide in the 2018 draft. Originally a small forward, Tarca also spent time as a running defender and midfielder at VFL level.
“We all enjoyed having Jake as part of our squad over the past two years and wish him every success in his future in football and outside the game,” Lloyd said.
“Jake improved as a player during his time at the club and we hope that he can get another opportunity.”
The Cats today also welcomed Paul Tsapatolis as a category B rookie.
Tsapatolis played junior football before focusing on a basketball career. He went on to represent Australia at both the FIBA Oceania and Asian championships. Tsapatolis helped Australia to the gold medal at both events, earning All Star honours at the Oceania event.
Standing at 202cm, Tsapatolis will look to emulate the likes of Mark Blicavs, Mark O’Connor and Zach Tuohy, all who began their journey as category B rookies.
“Paul was highly sought after and we believe our development program will allow him to maximise his potential as a footballer,” Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said.
“Paul is athletic and agile and the fact he played junior football gives him a head start along this journey. We are excited to have him join the Cats and he is equally excited to get down here, meet his new teammates and begin the process to him becoming the best player he can be.”