VFL Preview – Round 16

Updated: July 30, 2015
AFL-listed speedster Sam Blease will be a key for Geelong in Sunday's VFL clash with Frankston. Picture: ARJ GIESE.


AFL-listed speedster Sam Blease will be a key for Geelong in Sunday's VFL clash with Frankston. Picture: ARJ GIESE.

AFL-listed speedster Sam Blease will miss Sunday’s clash with Frankston. Picture: ARJ GIESE.

VETERAN defender Jared Rivers will make his comeback from a knee injury in Geelong’s VFL side at Frankston on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Rivers, who’s hinted this season could be his last at AFL level, has been sidelined for two weeks with a medial strain and his presence further boosts the Cats’ VFL line-up.

Rivers played with Geelong’s VFL side in its opening match of the season back in April.

Geelong will field 13 AFL-listed players against the Dolphins with rookies Michael Luxford and Zac Bates also returning after missing last round’s narrow loss to Essendon while Nakia Cockatoo has won promotion to the seniors after some encouraging form in recent weeks.

But young defender Jed Bews has not been named after being dropped back to the VFL last round.

Sam Blease will also miss with concussion.

Rivers (193 AFL games) will join Mathew Stokes (186 AFL games) in making the trip to Frankston.

Geelong coach Paul Hood said he’s been impressed by the attitude of the Cats’ experienced players when they’ve played at VFL level this season.

“The senior players, when they come back with the younger guys like our young academy players, they give all they’ve got and are fantastic role models,” Hood said.

“We expect the young guys to aspire to do the same every week and that experience can only help their footy.”

Rebounding defender Matthew Farrelly will play his 50th VFL game and Hood said the Bendigo recruit has even surpassed the Cats’ pre-season expectations.

“I thought if we could develop him a bit this year and get half a season or so under his belt that would have been a great achievement,” Hood said.

“But he’s just proved himself to be really difficult to leave out of the team. We’re really excited at the chance to have another pre-season with Matty next year and help him develop further.

“He’s a terrific player who gives 100 per cent and more every time he goes to the contest and gets the most out of himself. He’s just fitted in perfectly and done a great job.”

Hood is also hopeful rookie-listed defender Cam Delaney will be fit to make his first appearance of the season next round.

The former Geelong Falcon, who spent four years at North Melbourne, has overcome a toe problem that’s troubled him for the past 12 months.

Meanwhile Werribee heads to Casey Fields for the first of three consecutive critical away assignments, taking on the Casey Scorpions.

The Tigers are aiming to consolidate their spot inside the top eight against the seventh-placed Scorpions but coach John Lamont is under no illusion the task that lies ahead of his team in the final month, which includes a bye.

“We’ve got an incredibly tough draw in that we go out to Casey, then to Essendon and Williamstown and finish with Footscray at home,” Lamont said.

“We want to win as many of those as we can so that you’re going into the finals with real confidence that we deserve to be there. It will only be by winning at least two of those four that we’ll go in with that sort of feeling.”

Key midfielder Jye Bolton faces a race against time to be fit again this season after having surgery to repair his left foot injured in their loss to Geelong earlier this month.

Twitter: @GreenBradley

Frankston (15th) vs. Geelong (11th) @ Frankston Oval, Sunday 2.00pm


B Ruggles Robinson Cunico
HB Sheringham Rivers Jansen
C Gore Stokes Menzel
HF Farrelly Lucey Luxford
F Paliouras Vardy Bates
R Simpson Horlin-Smith Cowan
Int McFarlane Rees Burchell
Atkins Sherman Maas
Haintz Tudor Dixon*

Casey Scorpions (7th) vs. Werrribee Tigers (8th) @ Casey Fields, Sunday 2.00pm


B Sherlock Wilson Sodomaco
HB Laracy Hansen McMahon
C Speight Hanson Fordham
HF Munro Porter Crichton
F Reid Daw Wood
R Wallace Harper Conway
Int Maishman Mihocek Brett
Wales Ferrari* Iles
Robinson Norris Wales


Bendigo Bank