Hopefuls battle for VFL spots

Updated: January 15, 2016
Jake Edwards is among the first signings to Geelong's VFL list for 2016. Picture: AL PACKER

Jake Edwards from Ballarat league club Darley is among the more than 40 hopefuls chasing a spot on Geelong's VFL list. Picture: AL PACKER

Jake Edwards from Ballarat league club Darley is among the more than 40 hopefuls chasing a spot on Geelong’s VFL list. Picture: AL PACKER

GEELONG will wait until later this month to start signing players for the 2016 VFL season.

Around forty-five players are training with the Cats in the hope of making the final list that is expected to number twenty-four.  

“The way we set up our signings is that we haven’t done a whole lot just yet, which is probably a bit of a high-risk strategy,” VFL boss Troy Selwood said. 

“But, we feel as though we’d like to allow the boys to put in a full pre-season and always look to improve.  

“We’ll work through most of the contracts through late January/early February.” 

Discussions about the shape of the list between Selwood and new coach Shane O’Bree have focussed on worst-case scenario if the Cats’ AFL list was to be injury-hit in a similar fashion to 2015. 

“We think we’ve got a squad that if we have to play 15 VFL players deep, we’ve got a squad that can be extremely competitive,” Selwood said.

“We had a really talented squad last year, but probably the depth wasn’t quite ready for what went on with all the injuries at AFL level. 

“At times, if we have good AFL availability, there’ll be some really unlucky guys within the squad.  

“But, there might be times when we have to rely on high numbers from VFL level (and) we’ll be really confident going into games if we had to do that.” 

New faces hoping to win a spot include Port Melbourne premiership player Jake Edwards, who played alongside O’Bree at Ballarat league club Darley, South Barwon’s Vic Country defender Tom Stewart and Newtown & Chilwell’s Timm House, as the Cats look to boost their key defensive stocks, while Grovedale ruckman Ryan Abbott has impressed since joining the squad. 

There is also a strong contingent of Hampden league players in the mix, including Sam Dobson from Koroit, North Warrnambool’s Sam McLachlan and Portland’s Jay Moody. 

All three will play in the GFL in 2016, with Dobson joining St Mary’s, McLachlan to play at Colac and Moody signing with Grovedale. 
The Cats first practice match is at Essendon on March 12, while the opening home and away game is against the Northern Blues on April 15.

 Twitter: @tom_king79

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