Best 22 analysis: Geelong

Conor Roar Guru

By Conor, Conor is a Roar Guru

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    All the AFL lists are finalised for 2018, and now is the time to start investigating what each club’s best team looks like.

    This analysis won’t factor in injuries or early season suspension, as it is looking at the best team from the list each club has. This is my take on Geelong’s best 22.

    Previous articles
    Adelaide’s Best 22
    Brisbane’s Best 22
    Carlton’s Best 22
    Collingwood’s Best 22
    Essendon’s Best 22
    Fremantle’s Best 22

    Best 22
    B: Tom Stewart, Lachie Henderson, Jake Kolodjashnij
    HB: Zach Tuohy, Harry Taylor, Jed Bews
    C: Cam Guthrie, Patrick Dangerfield, Mitch Duncan
    HF: Sam Menegola, Stewart Crameri, James Parsons
    F: Daniel Menzel, Tom Hawkins, Brandan Parfitt
    Foll: Zac Smith, Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood
    I/C: Nakia Cockatoo, Tim Kelly, Scott Selwood, Mark Blicavs
    Depth: Rhys Stanley, Lincoln McCarthy, Wylie Buzza, Lachlan Fogarty, Esava Ratugolea, Charlie Constable, Quinton Narkle, Ryan Gardner, Jordan Murdoch, Aaron Black, Cory Gregson, Timm House, Jordan Cunico, Gryan Miers, George Horlin-Smith, Jackson Thurlow, Ryan Abbott, Matthew Hayball, Sam Simpson, Jack Henry, Zach Guthrie, Jamaine Jones, Mark O’Connor

    The defence was a rather straight-forward decision, with only Zach Guthrie and Jackson Thurlow that I considered putting in the back six. Mature-aged first yearer Tom Stewart became a household name in 2017, putting on a show with his skills and toughness coming out of the Cats defensive 50.

    Former Lion and Blue Lachie Henderson has probably had the best two years of his career at Geelong, and looks primed to remain a lock in the starting 18. Zach Tuohy was unlucky not to be selected in the All-Australian team of 2017, however represented Ireland in the IRS and looks set for another big year in 2018.

    Harry Taylor had a year up forward last year, but following the retirements of Tom Lonergan and Andrew Mackie, plus the recruitment of Stewart Crameri via the rookie draft, Taylor is set to move back in 2018.

    Jake Kolodjashnij, brother of Gold Coast Sun Kade, had a career best year last year, and will be hoping to improve on his form and take the next step in 2018. Jed Bews was another to have a career best year last year, and will near on be a lock in 2018 given Mackie’s retirement.

    It’s a star midfield for the Cats in 2018, who may be fielding perhaps the best midfield of the competition in the new season.

    Zac Smith easily beats other ruck options at the Cattery, having had what is his best season thus far in his short career last year. Chris Scott has stated that the plan is to play returnee Gary Ablett in the midfield next year, hence why I have started him as an on-baller.

    Gary Ablett Geelong Cats AFL

    (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

    Expect him to rotate up forward often though and form a dangerous partnership with Patrick Dangerfield. Speaking of danger, Patrick Dangerfield has been in ripping form over the past two years, having been the only real player to contend Dustin Martin’s 2017 Charlie, and could have tied the count at the top had he not been suspended.

    Courageous captain Joel Selwood will no doubt take the final spot as an on-baller alongside ‘Gazza’ and ‘Paddy’. Mitch Duncan is a star that takes a back seat behind the rest of the midfielders, and will almost certainly be a lock in the starting 18. Cam Guthrie had an underdone season compared to previous seasons, but provides speed and flexibility to play off the half back line.

    Goalkicking midfielder Sam Menegola had a break out season in 2017, so I have chosen him on the half forward flank to be able to rotate between Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett through the midfield.

    Stewart Crameri was drafted via the rookie draft following his delisting from the Bulldogs. He has only played two games in the past two seasons due to suspension and injury problems, but the five seasons before that, he kicked over 30 goals, and could definitely play a role for the Cats.

    Injury-prone medium forward Daniel Menzel had a career-best year last season, kicking 40 goals, and looks likely to be in the best 22 when he is fully fit. James Parsons is an incredibly promising forward-mid, and looks likely to be in their best team next year to further develop himself.

    Brandan Parfitt kicked six goals over 15 games last season, and will be hoping to take his game to another level following a promising first year. Big forward ‘Tomahawk’ has kicked over 45 goals in the past six seasons, and seems likely to take the full forward spot like he has in many previous years.

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    The interchange bench is midfield heavy with midfielders who can play up forward and down back as well. Nakia Cockatoo has plenty of potential, but has been rocked by hamstring problems. He will be in their best team providing he is fully fit and injury free.

    Mature-aged draftee Tim Kelly averaged 26 disposals and just over a goal a game at WAFL level last year, and will be expected to make an immediate impact. Scott Selwood can play as a tagger or a defender, which earns him a spot ahead of other options. Mark Blicavs struggled with injury last year, however he has plenty of upside and can play an important role for the club on field.

    The unlucky players
    Rhys Stanley may be a contender to take the centre-half forward position if Stewart Crameri flops. Wylie Buzza may be another in contention, and will be hoping for opportunities in the senior team to continue to develop his game. Charlie Constable has been compared to Patrick Cripps, and may well be the future of the Cats midfield.

    Jackson Thurlow played ten games, and will be hoping to get back to his best form in 2018 following a knee reconstruction in 2016. Zach Guthrie, brother of Cameron, played nine games in 2017, and will be hoping to continue to develop his game and get opportunities as a young player.

    What do you think, Roarers? Do you agree with Geelong’s best 22 for 2018?

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • December 24th 2017 @ 10:02am
      Ditto said | December 24th 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report

      Interested to see how Charlie Constable’s career pans out, being compared to Patrick Cripps. I find it hard to believe that draft ”experts’ could be so wrong. Surely his physical capabilities had been fully assessed a long time prior to the draft.

    • December 24th 2017 @ 10:32am
      Alicesprings said | December 24th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

      Stewart Crameri recruited as a bit of insurance.

      Break out year for Wylie Buzza this year.

    • December 24th 2017 @ 12:14pm
      Aransan said | December 24th 2017 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

      I wouldn’t think of Crameri as a chf, but if his body holds up he is capable of 30+ goals for the year and of course the Cats got him for nothing.

    • Roar Guru

      December 24th 2017 @ 1:31pm
      Cat said | December 24th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

      Not a bad attempt at best 22. I don’t think Hawkins, Crameri and Menzel will all play at the same time too often. Lincoln McCarthy is a walk up starter when fit. His forward pressure is one of the missing ingredients that held the Cats back last year.
      Scott will probably keep playing Blicavs but i’d have him outside best 22. Man without a position now. I’d prefer to see Fogarty or Miers get a chance to add some more pace and pressure to the side.

      Don’t think the Cats will trot out the same side every week so a best 22 is probably not as indicative as for other teams anyway. Good depth all over and plenty missing out who have shon they ar AFL ready. Competition for spots will push the side to be better, as long as the selectors aren’t afraid to go with the hot hand.

    • December 24th 2017 @ 3:10pm
      truetigerfan said | December 24th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

      Agreed, Cat. This forward set up looks a little slow and cumbersome, lacking the required forward pressure these days. McCarthy a certainty if fit. Certainties for the 8!

    • December 25th 2017 @ 3:17am
      Joe said | December 25th 2017 @ 3:17am | ! Report

      Geelong 2018: the return of McCarthy and Gregson (and also Ablett)

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