TALL, skilled and athletic.
Cats fans have a lot to look forward to in its next wave of developing talent.
Geelong added to its burgeoning ruck stocks with the selection of 202cm West Australian Shannon Neale in last night’s draft.
After the recent addition of Category B Rookie Paul Tsapatolis and 2019 selection 19 Sam De Koning, GMHBA Stadium is now home to three two-metre giants all 19 years of age or younger.
Talent ID Manager Troy Selwood has played a big part in bringing all three Cats to the club.
“They’re going to come through together and share their journey. We’re very bullish about all three of those boys,” he says.
“Obviously they’ve all come from different backgrounds but what we love about them is they’re great characters, they have great ability to play in multiple roles, which I think is going to be really important for all those players.
“We think that improvement will hopefully come if we get their development programs right, week on week, month on month, year on year.”
Neale is a tantalising prospect.
“He’s another one from an athletics background as well – he’s more an 800m runner,” Selwood says.
“He’s also got some high quality football tricks. He kicks it well, marks it well, is good at ground level and we think he’s got a great work ethic, so with his character mixed in with what he brings with his football attributes and his athletic attributes there could be serious player there in coming years.
“He’s one we also think has a lot of improvement left in his game. We just love the way he moves for a player his size.”
Neale’s athleticism means he could find himself anywhere on the ground as he develops.
“He splits his time at the moment between key forward and up in the ruck, we like him in both of those positions,” Selwood says.
“We also talk about him potentially as a defender with the way he can move and how agile he is but at this point in time I think his developing years will be split between key forward and ruckman.”