All Eyes on… The Comeback Cats

The bye couldn’t have come at a better time for the Cats who could welcome back up to five players for Thursday night’s game against Port Adelaide.

While it’s reasonably rare for a match committee to make that many changes in one swoop, especially off the back of four straight wins, the week off means top-liners Patrick Dangerfield, Mark Blicavs, Mitch Duncan, Cam Guthrie, and Mark O’Connor are all potentially available ahead of this week’s trip to the City of Churches.

Gryan Miers and Sam Simpson may also make their case but are more likely to be available for next Friday’s big clash with the Western Bulldogs.

All Eyes On… Quinton’s Sparkling form

The silver lining to a few injuries amongst the group is the opportunity it presents to the younger brigade to stake their claim, and no one has grasped their chance more convincingly than 23-year-old Quinton Narkle.

Currently, Google’s algorithm assumes you want to know one of two things if you type in Quinton’s name - whether his hair is naturally blonde (it is) or – and there’s a good bet this was a result of all the neutrals watching his breakout game in Round 10 against Suns where he picked up a personal best 34 touches, took 8 marks and had six inside 50s: “Who is number 19 for Geelong.”

He followed up the following week with another 25 touches against the Magpies.

On Thursday, Narkle will play his seventh game for the season, the most games he’s ever played in one season, and in his current form, he’ll add a few more to that tally yet. An exciting young player beginning to make his mark is great news for Cats fans. 

All Eyes On… Adelaide Oval

It might surprise some that most sides traveling to Adelaide Oval have historically broken around about even since the venue was made a permanent AFL ground in 2014, with Sydney (8-3) and St.Kilda (2-11) at the extremes. 

As for the Cats, they’ll go into Thursday night with a 6-7 record at the ground with a percentage of 100.68, so perhaps not as daunting as you'd assume, despite the seemingly regular footage of enthusiastic locals' hanging over the fences providing free character assessments to visiting teams. 

As Joel Selwood touched on in Tuesday’s press conference, for the Cats it’s not about where this game is but who it is against, with the Power one of a handful of sides likely to be there at the pointy end of the season. With Port, the Bulldogs, and Brisbane to come over the next three weeks, this might be an old-fashioned 8 pointer.  

All Eyes On… The Selwoods

Another week, another record for the skipper.

The week will see the Selwood brothers pass the vaunted Daniher’s of Essendon as the most capped set of brothers in AFL history. Joel will play game 322, taking his family tally to an incredible 753 games once you add in Adam’s 187, Scott’s 169, and Troy’s 75.

While the list of records Joel's chasing down this season is too long to post here, the ones Cats fans should be most excited about are these: 25.8 disposals per game are his most since 2018 and perhaps most importantly, he’s played every game.

He just keeps on keeping on.