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The single, glaring deficiency Geelong must address ahead of 2019

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10th September, 2018
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Many tipped Geelong as a premiership contender in 2018, after an off-season which saw Gary Ablett return to the club.

But on Friday night, their hopes were brought to a crushing end by a high-flying Melbourne side, who some are now tipping as premiership outsiders.

The 29-point margin did not give justice to Melbourne’s dominance – the Dees could have easily put the game to bed in the opening half had they converted their chances.

While the Cats too missed chances, their lack of a small forward made their forward line look slow.

Tim Kelly spent periods of the game inside 50, but that came as a result of Chris Scott’s need for a creative spark. Key forward Tom Hawkins was arguably his side’s best, making the most of his opportunities going forward.

Throughout the year, Scott experimented with Lachie Fogarty, Jermaine Jones and Quinton Narkle in the role, while the likes of Cory Gregson and Lincoln McCarthy once again battled injuries.

It would be unfair to suggest Fogarty, Jones and Narkle should have held the position down all season long, but each individual showed glimpses of what they can offer.

Narkle made a bright start once handed his opportunity, quickly establishing himself as a favourite with the Geelong supporters. But he failed to consistently perform, thus losing his place in the side – still, his x-factor could have been useful under the Friday night lights of the MCG.

The continued injuries to Gregson and McCarthy are certainly a source of frustration, with the pair proving to be valuable commodities when they have taken to the field.

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McCarthy may not be at the club next season, with reports linking him with a move to Brisbane – if he were to leave, Geelong would have another void to fill.

With Geelong’s small forward deficiency glaringly obvious, Luke Dahlhaus is one name who has been heavily linked to the club. But is the 25-year-old the man to fill the role of a permanent small forward?

Although Dahlhaus is a crafty individual, during his time with the Bulldogs he has spent large chunks of games in the midfield or as a half-forward. In fact, the 2016 premiership player has never averaged below 21 disposals since 2013.

While he will certainly add to Geelong, based on his previous role with the Dogs he will just join the ever-growing list of Cats midfielders.

Stephen Wells and his recruiting staff have a task on their hands to help Scott’s side take a big step forward next season. Perhaps Wells and Co. could find another draft gem that could have a similar effect to Tim Kelly.

If Geelong are to put themselves among the elite bracket next season, they need to find themselves a small forward who is capable of adding a bit of magic to the club’s forward line.

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