Squad Breakdown: Geelong Cats SC roster analysis

We take an in-depth look at the Geelong Cats SuperCoach credentials heading into the 2022 AFL season.

AFL Pre Season Squad Breakdown

The clock is ticking on Geelong’s premiership window, with a some of its star players now starting to enter the twilight zone of their respective careers.

With the oldest list in the competition, the Cats can either choose to go around one more year with their core group of players, or look to start refreshing with some younger talent.

If they start poorly the heat will no doubt come onto coach Chris Scott, who has coached just six wins from 19 finals since Geelong’s 2011 premiership.

On paper, they have most of the pieces needed to be a top four contender, with Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins in attack and the likes of Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood, Cam Guthrie, Mitch Duncan and Sam Menegola forming a strong midfield nucleus.

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The question however will be on their depth and whether the young players on their list can start stepping up and taking on more responsibility.

The Cats have had a busy pre-season on the injury and rehab front, with Dangerfield, Menegola, Brandon Parfitt, Gryan Miers and Jonathon Ceglar all experiencing interruptions to their 2022 preparation.

The positive is that only one of those players appears to be in major doubt for Round 1, with Miers recovering from a syndesmosis injury. The news coming out of the Cattery is that the rest should be available.

Menegola and Jack Henry are also under an injury cloud leading into Round 1, while a recent calf injury has Mitch Duncan also in doubt.

The Cats cleaned out the bottom half of their list over the off-season, delisting a host of rookies and losing Jordan Clark (traded), Darcy Fort (traded), Nathan Kreuger (traded), Lachie Henderson (retired) and Josh Jenkins (retired) as well.

The draft was certainly a look to the future for the Cats, taking 205cm Toby Conway with their first selection and also taking a handful of midfielders who will hone their craft at VFL level initially.

B: Jed Bews, Mark Blicavs, Tom Stewart
HB: Jack Henry, Jake Kolodjashnij, Mark O’Connor
C: Mitch Duncan, Joel Selwood, Isaac Smith
HF: Brad Close, Tom Hawkins, Brandan Parfitt
F: Esava Ratugolea, Jeremy Cameron,Gary Rohan
Foll: Rhys Stanley, Cameron Guthrie, Patrick Dangerfield
I/C: Gryan Miers, Sam Menegola, Zach Tuohy, Quinton Narkle

Emerg: Max Holmes, Tom Atkins, Jon Ceglar, Shaun Higgins

Injury concerns: Sam Menegola, Jack Henry, Gryan Miers, Mitch Duncan.

Draftees: Toby Conway (Pick 24), Mitchell Knevitt (Pick 25), James Willis (Pick 32), Flynn Kroeger (Pick 48), Cooper Whyte (Pick 64)

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Top Price Guns

Cameron Guthrie // $616,700 // MID // 2021 Ave: 113.3

Guthrie was one of the most in-form SuperCoach players in the competition over the first half of 2021, averaging 119.8 PPG to Round 10 and posting just one score below 98.

He missed a couple of games mid-season through injury and then hit the ground running after that with a score of 40 in Round 16 his only real blemish of the season.

For me he’s a hard player to get a read on, purely because he’s only had two seasons of averaging over 100 PPG and the 2021 season was the first time in five years that he’s played over 20 games in a season.

Guthrie is obviously locked into Geelong’s best team now, but I’m not convinced that he’ll be able to continue to average over 110 PPG.

If you’re looking for a POD then he should absolutely be on your radar, but at $600K+ I’ll likely be holding off for a price drop.

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Tom Stewart // $585,700 // DEF // 2021 Ave: 107.6

The star defender was cruelly struck down with a foot injury at the pointy end of last season’s finals series, but from all reports is back into full training now.

He did say in December however that he was still a bit nervous about re-injuring the foot, so no doubt he’s still regaining the confidence in his body.

The tick for Stewart is that last year he ranked 4th in the competition in kicks per game and 2nd in total marks (1st for marks per game as well).

The role he plays in defence means he’ll always be a pretty reliable SuperCoach option, but it’s purely a question of price and whether you can fit him into your structure at an expensive $585K.

Patrick Dangerfield // $567,800 // MID // 2021 Ave: 104.3

One of the undisputed GOATs of SuperCoach, but we didn’t see the best of Danger last year due to suspension and then injury which ruined the first half of his 2021 campaign.

Returned post-byes with some monster scores in the second half of the season, but mixed his form between good and average which is not what we’ve come to expect in recent years.

The big tick for Dangerfield is the new mid-season position changes, which could easily see him move from his current position of MID only to a MID-FWD.

If he becomes DPP eligible, I’d make him a priority trade in. As a pure midfielder he’s still a viable M4-M5 option if he’s averaging in that 110-120 range, which we know he certainly can.

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Joel Selwood // $549,000 // MID // 2021 Ave: 100.9

Selwood defied Father Time in 2021, lifting his SuperCoach average back over the 100-point mark for the 11th time in his career (albeit he was coming off an injury-interrupted 2020 season where he was quite banged up).

Selwood probably no longer sits in the ‘uber premium’ category like he has in years gone by, and for that reason I wouldn’t be considering him as a starting option in your midfield. He also comes with an increased risk of injury or being rested throughout the year.

Mitch Duncan // $540,000 // MID-FWD // 2021 Ave: 99.2

Mitch Duncan presents as one of the most SuperCoach relevant players on the Geelong list heading into the 2022 season.

The main reason being his MID-FWD DPP status, meaning he can start as one of your forwards rather than in the midfield.

Duncan didn’t quite reach a 100-point average last year, but had been very consistent in the four seasons prior to that averaging between 109 and 103 from 2017-2020.

He looks like he’ll continue to be a mainstay of Geelong’s midfield in 2022, particularly with Selwood now in his twilight years and Dangerfield dividing his time on ground between the midfield and forward 50.

He’ll be one of the most selected players in SuperCoach teams in Round 1 and should be a player you be giving strong consideration to. He should be high on your Draft priority list as a forward too!

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Tom Hawkins // $510,900 // FWD // 2021 Ave:

Key forwards aren’t usually that reliable when it comes to SuperCoach, but Hawkins has bucked the trend and although he didn’t reach the SuperCoach heights of 2020, still averaged 93.9 PPG to end the year as one of the game’s top-scoring forwards.

At 33 years of age, he is getting a bit long in the tooth and with Jeremy Cameron now established at the Cattery I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a changing of the guard to Cameron being the main man in the Cats’ forward 50.

If you’re starting a team from scratch, he’s probably not someone you’d consider due to price and the fact there are some more reliable premium options around.

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Bargain Bin Buys

Jonathon Ceglar // $491,700 // RUCK // 2021 Ave: 90.3

News emerged earlier this week that Ceglar required a minor knee procedure after a mishap at training, but from all reports that shouldn’t hinder his preparation for Round 1 too much.

He’ll be competing with Rhys Stanley for the Cats’ number 1 ruck spot and what he showed across 12 games (averaged 90.3 SC PPG) for Hawthorn last season will certainly have him in well in the mix.

If he does slot into that go-to ruck option for Geelong I think we can expect to see similar SC numbers to last year and could be worth looking at from a Draft point of view if you happen to miss out on a big-name ruckman.

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Rookie Gems

Cooper Stephens // $123,900 // MID

Stephens hasn’t really had a decent crack at top level footy since being taken at pick 16 in the 2019 draft, but he looks like he could finally see some clear air in 2022 and push his case for an AFL debut.

Admittedly spots in the Geelong midfield are hard to come by, so you would want to be certain of his job security before bringing him into your team, but he’s certainly one to watch in the early stages of the season.

Outside of Stephens, it really is a lottery as to what the Cats will do with their young players. Keep an eye on their VFL team to see if anyone is dominating early doors.

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