Published on March 26, 2019 12:00 pm

Jordan Keras

VFL SEASON PREVIEW: Geelong

Geelong VFL senior coach Shane O’Bree gives his thoughts on the club’s upcoming Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL season.

2018 FINISH: 6th (13-7 record)

2018 BEST AND FAIREST: 1. Tom Atkins / 2. Timm House / 3. James Tsitas

2018 TEAM OF THE YEAR SELECTIONS: Tom Atkins, James Tsitas

2018 AFL DRAFTEES: Tom Atkins (Geelong – rookie)

OTHER CURRENT AFL DRAFTEES FROM CLUB:

  • Selected in 2007: Shane Mumford (Geelong/Sydney/GWS) 21/79/72 games, Scott Thompson (North Melbourne) 222
  • 2016: Ryan Abbott (Geelong) 4, Tom Stewart (Geelong) 43

2019 SEASON START: vs Richmond @ GMHBA Stadium, Friday April 5 (CLICK HERE for full fixture)

 

KEY RECRUITS

Aaron Black (29yo in 2019, from Geelong AFL): “Aaron will be a playing assistant coach this year. He’s coming back from a knee reconstruction (in June 2018) and we’re not rushing him, but he’s planning on being back on the field early in the season. I reckon he’ll play as a key defender more than a forward; he seemed to find his niche down back last year.”

Nik Rokahr (24yo in 2019, from Shepparton Bears): “Nik is one of our mature-age recruits. He’s previously been an inside midfielder, but we can see him playing multiple positions. He’s probably slipped under the radar a bit because he didn’t play any Victorian U18 Boys footy, but he’s improved a hell of a lot at local level and wants to test himself at a higher level.”

 

Kyle Reid (19yo in 2019, from Gippsland Power): “Kyle is rated really highly by our recruiters and he was named at centre half back of last year’s U18 All Australian team. We want to expose him to AFL standards and training and get him to play a lot of VFL footy. There are a few key-defensive positions available here, so he should be able to play early in the season.”

Charlie Wilson (19yo in 2019, from GWV Rebels): “Charlie tied for the leading goalkicker award at the end of the 2018 Victorian U18 Boys home-and-away season (35 goals in 16 games). He’s a contested-ball player who can play forward or in the midfield and we’re looking to put some time and effort into him to keep his progression going.”

CLICK HERE to see key ins and outs at each VFL club for 2019.

 

POTENTIAL BIG IMPROVERS

Daniel Capiron (23yo in 2019, 36 VFL games) and Dean Gore (23yo in 2019, 11 VFL games): “Dan and Dean were on our list last year, but Dan had groin injuries and Dean had a knee reconstruction and we didn’t get any games out of them. We see them as new recruits this year. They’ve both had good pre-seasons and they should be up and running by Round 1. They’re both flexible players and can play multiple roles for us.”

Jordan Keras (26yo in 2019, 33 VFL games) and James Tsitas (24yo in 2019, 82 VFL games): “I think Jordan and James can take their games to another level by playing in different positions. Jordan has always been an inside midfielder, but I think we can play him more as a high forward and try to add goalkicking to his skillset. It’s the same with James – we’ve played him down back most of the time, but I’d like to see him play as an inside midfielder and high forward as well.”

 

ELIGIBLE 23rd PLAYERS TO WATCH

Curtis McCarthy (20yo in 2019, one VFL game): “Curtis is (ex-Geelong and current Brisbane AFL player) Lincoln McCarthy’s younger brother and he has a lot of X-factor about him. He can play as a tall and small forward, but we’ve been trialling him down back and he’s adapted well to that.”

Mitchell Diamond (21yo in 2019, two VFL games): “Mitch is a local product from Newtown & Chilwell. He has good kicking skills and we see him as an outside midfielder/half back sort of player.”

Ethan Floyd (20yo in 2019, one VFL game): “Ethan is a local Colac boy. He has a nice left-foot kick and can play outside-midfield and wing roles as well as off half back. He has good speed too.”

 

LEADERSHIP MATERIAL

Co-captains:

  • Aaron Black (see above)
  • James Tsitas (see above)

Leadership group members:

  • Dean Gore (see above)
  • Jordan Keras (see above)
  • Campbell Floyd (23yo in 2019, 24 VFL games)

 

TEAM STRENGTHS

“We’re going to have a lot of new recruits from an AFL point of view and a lot of young VFL-listed players who we hope can go to another level this year, like Patrick Dowling, Callum Mitchell, Jackson McLachlan and Tom Lang, who have all played as 23rd players. We’re hoping they can be regular and confident VFL players.

“We’ll bat pretty deep in the midfield and with our group of rucks and tall forwards, so we need to manage them and be a bit creative with where they all play as well.”

 

ASSISTANT COACHING PANEL

Back line coach: Eammon Gill (retained from 2018, when forward line coach)

Midfield line coach: Saul Grenfell (retained from 2018)

Forward line coach: Daniel O’Keefe (from Geelong Falcons)

On-field assistant coach: Aaron Black (see above)

Bench assistant coaches: Glen Wallace (retained from 2018) and Matt Cape (from Western Jets)

Structures and leadership assistant coach: Troy Scoble (from Western Jets)

 

HEADLINE YOU WANT TO SEE

“Something like ‘Cats play four rucks at a centre bounce’ – that’s a big chance, because we have a lot of talls!”

 

CLICK HERE for 2019 season previews on other Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL clubs.

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