The wave’s finally about to break at Geelong

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    On Friday night, the Cats face the Swans at the MCG in a do-or-die semi-final, where we’ll witness the Geelong wave that has been building since 2011 finally come crashing down in a furious, chaotic mess, leaving many naive or unsuspecting fans dumped and gasping for air.

    A wave is made up of a constant series of circular motions; when that motion is broken, the wave breaks – and the Geelong Football Club has been in a constant state of circular motion since 2011, making the same decisions over and over, leading to the same poor and predictable outcomes.

    List management strategy has been clearly designed to keep them in the finals at the expense of drafting young, elite talent. It has also placed far too much emphasis on creating a team for a Kardinia Park-centric gamestyle, using mature-age recruits – many of whom simply have not performed – to fill in potholes.

    It began with Hamish McIntosh, continued with Mitch Clark, and continues now with Rhys Stanley. Tom Stewart got found out last Friday night in his first final, Sam Menegola again failed to perform on the big stage, and once you add to that the overrated Mark Blicavs, who’s scarcely played one decent final in his life, it becomes clear how poor the list management decision making really has been.

    Would kids picked up in the 2012, 2013 or 2014 drafts be fairing any worse than those listed above? Why do the Cats continue to persist with such players and such a strategy when it clearly fails in finals?

    The circular motion continued with the re-signing of Chris Scott by Brian Cook, who when re-signed had won just two finals of his last eight, had won once after a bye in six years, and had persisted with fielding tall, slow teams when it had become abundantly clear that speed and dynamism are key ingredients for success.

    In the qualifying final against Richmond, Scott coached his team after a bye and was canned for playing a slow, tall team, dropping dynamic, midsize scoring ace Dan Menzel.

    Geelong were yet again obliterated in a final, beaten after a bye, and run off their feet.

    Meanwhile, in the background over the last few years, supporters’ fury has grown at Cook and Scott failing to even answer questions about our poor finals performances.

    More and more some fans could see the wave growing, the circles repeating themselves again and again with increasing menace.

    However, as Cook rattled off Scott’s impressive season-winning record of over 70 per cent, the media would lap it up – Geelong consistently being labelled a ‘successful team’ despite not even being in the top eight teams in the competition for finals wins in that time.

    Chris Scott Geelong Cats AFL 2017 tall

    AAP Image/Dave Hunt

    In last week’s qualifying final, Geelong had their lowest score in a final since 1903, losing to a team that hadn’t won a final since 2001, and that the Cats had beaten 21 of the previous 22 times they’d played.

    It took Scott’s finals coaching record to two wins from nine finals over the last six years.

    Last Friday night, the quiet bulge on the horizon suddenly rose, casting a tremendous, foreboding shadow over those in its path. The lip of Cook and Scott’s wave hangs in the air, waiting to crash down.

    On Friday night, Geelong’s wave will brutally smash, leaving Scott, Cook and the complacency of an underperforming club strewn in its wake.

    There need to be big changes at Geelong – let’s hope, as Cats fans, it begins on Friday night.

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