Scott confident on Clark

By
Updated: January 29, 2016
Mitch Clark (right) runs laps with Mitch Duncan and Linc McCarthy at Elderslie Reserve in early January. Picture: AL PACKER
Mitch Clark (right) runs laps with Mitch Duncan and Linc McCarthy at Elderslie Reserve in early January. Picture: AL PACKER

Mitch Clark (right) runs laps with Mitch Duncan and Linc McCarthy at Elderslie Reserve in early January. Picture: AL PACKER

GEELONG coach Chris Scott is confident power forward Mitch Clark will be right for Round 1.

Clark, who suffered a season-ending calf injury in Round 9 last year, is being carefully managed through the pre-season.

“My expectation right at the moment is that he will,” Scott said when asked if he would line-up against Hawthorn on Easter Monday.

“For me, it’s a bit like saying Dan Menzel and Nathan Vardy and Josh Cowan play Round 1.

“You’d have your head firmly in the sand if you didn’t acknowledge that those guys have had resilience issues.

“And there are a couple of others on our list who are in the same boat as well.

“But our priority with Mitch all along has been to make him at least a medium-term player for the footy club.

“It wasn’t come in and fill a hole for a year or two.”

Clark also fights a well-documented battle with his mental health, and Scott admits the club is better equipped to deal with the former Melbourne and Brisbane big man’s circumstances.

“We know Mitch’s situation better than we did 12 months ago, and we’ve got a better understanding, as he does, of where the pressure points are going to be, Scott said.

“He’s not a set-and-forget player. We need to make sure that we just stay on top of it.

“He’s feeling really good, but he knows it’s one of those things you’re never completely free from.

“I’m sure we’ll handle it better.”

While Clark is well-placed to take on the Hawks, Scott has refused to guarantee Joel Selwood will take to the MCG on Easter Monday as he continues to overcome plantar fasciitis.

The skipper has done little of the pre-season, but the coach is only slightly concerned.

“A little bit, but it’s offset by the fact that he’s a pro. He’s got a lot of work behind him in his career,” Scott said.

“But even in the latter part of last season and the off-season he got a fair bit of work in, so it’s not as if he’s been idle through the last six months.

“It probably reminds me a bit of the situation we were in, I think it was two years ago, when he hurt his hamstring in NAB 2 in Alice Springs, didn’t play any minutes in the NAB Cup, hardly trained going into Round 1, had a bit of work prior to that, but he was probably the best player in the competition for the first five rounds.

“History doesn’t always repeat, but we’re pretty confident that he will come together nicely, it’s just a question of the timings.”

Scott has always been a firm believer that being right for Round 1 isn’t the be-all and end-all.

“Our priority is the season as a whole. We can tend to look at Round 1 as a finishing line,” he said.

“I’m still expecting him to play Round 1. Our medical staff and Joel are on the same page with that.

“But we’re not guaranteeing it.

Twitter: @tom_king79



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