Current Cats vice-captain Tom Stewart is already thinking about who he thinks could be a future Geelong captain. He finds out who thinks he’s a ‘left field’ option here.
The defending All Australian was elevated to a sole vice-captain role for 2023 after Patrick Dangerfield was tapped to replace former captain Joel Selwood.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Stewart said leadership qualities were not in short supply in Geelong.
“We really do rely on a massive pool, it’s well documented that we have a pretty old roster and a pretty experienced roster, so we’re relying on a dozen guys for information and just a real temperature check on the pool,” he said. .
“I have ‘Blitz’ (Mark Blicavs) and ‘Hawk’ (Tom Hawkins), Mitch Duncan, Cam Guthrie and Zach Tuohy, who I really trust to help me in my kind of role and I think that’s the huge strength of our cluster.
“We’re not going to rely on just Pat and me to lead the charge and that’s something we’re very, very proud of here.”
The Cats opted for a two-man leadership group for 2023 but will have to rely on help from outside leadership with Dangerfield set to miss a few games with a hamstring injury sustained against Adelaide on Saturday.
Stewart said he saw a lot of leadership potential in some of the Cats’ younger stars.
“There are probably three or four that I’m really strong with, he’s not playing right now, but Jack Henry has really grown in that space,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“He came in as a rookie and had a different path, but the way he moves with his foot.
“He’s not the loudest guy or the first to speak, but when he does speak, his words carry a lot of weight, he’s someone I really respect.
“Max Holmes is really developing in that space, he was a bit late to football, his form on the pitch is really starting to show the player he is going to be.
“He stands up in the big moments and really plays very consistent football.
“Another one who is a bit of a left field option is Tom Atkins, he was a strong leader in local football and then captained our VFL club for several years.
“He’s someone who knows exactly who he is and isn’t afraid to speak up and say the right things and I think that’s something that can’t be underestimated.”
Dempsey ‘never goes anywhere’ after signing extension
Exciting young Cat Ollie Dempsey says it is a “no brainer” to stay in Geelong after signing a new deal this week.
The 20-year-old striker this week confirmed the two-year contract extension, remaining in the hoops at least until the end of the 2025 season.
Demspey, who came on as a substitute on Saturday against Adelaide, said he would “never go anywhere”.
“It was a no-brainer to sign again, I’m very happy at the club and I’m enjoying my football,” he said.
“I can’t wait for the next two years and spend more time here, I have great teammates at the club and they’ve given me this opportunity here, so to get him out of the way early was great.
“It was very easy, as soon as they submitted it, I was like ‘yeah, I’ll sign this’, but obviously you still have to go through everything.
“I was never going anywhere.”
Dempsey’s contract announcement came in conjunction with Premier Cat Brad Close, who has also signed until 2025.
The pair of Cats are just a few of a large contingent of former Rookie Draft players currently at the club, and the group includes vice-captain Tom Stewart, crazy Tom Atkins, injured defender Jack Henry, All Australian Mark Blicavs , defenseman Zach Guthrie and small forward Sam Simpson.
Dempsey said the Cats’ savvy recruiting showed that any draft pick had an equal chance of making a league career.
“I’ve learned a lot from Brad, I’ve spent a lot of time with him because we played in a similar position,” he said. “I am very happy that he gets another contract here, he has been good to me.
“Once you get into the club, everyone is the same, everyone gets the same kind of treatment from the club, whether you’re a first pick or a rookie.
“It’s been nice to have that connection with some of the players, especially early in my career.”
Set closed for court hearing
Geelong have decided to challenge Brad Close’s ban after he was handed a one-match suspension for rude conduct.
The newly revamped forward was cited for negligent conduct, medium impact and high contact for a tackle on Crow captain Jordan Dawson during the Cats’ 29-point win at GMHBA Stadium.
Match review officer Michael Christian deemed the tackle warranted a one-match suspension, but manager Chris Scott said Close did not have a case to answer.
“I thought there was a very clear defense (for Mitch Duncan’s punch on Robbie Fox), no defense required for this one,” he said after the game.
“The defense would be really strong, but I don’t think it’s necessary, in my opinion, and that’s it, and it’s not a reflection of the decision itself, but I reviewed it, I felt very comfortable with it.
“It’s a hot topic… I get it, but when a player loses his balance and slips and falls to the ground, he gets up and he’s fine.
“We have the benefit that the referee doesn’t have, we can see it and take into account everything with time and replays and slow motion and all that.
“They have to make a call on the spot, and they made a call, I wouldn’t have made that call, but that’s why they’re better referees than me.”
Melbourne’s Jacob van Rooyan was also suspended for two weeks after he made head contact with Charlie Ballard while returning with the fly in an attempt to spoil it during the Demons’ clash with the Suns and will also fight his suspension in court. .