Ling faces up to biggest AFL game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ling faces up to biggest AFL game

By Adam Cooper 01/09/2004 07:26:48 PM Comments (0)

Geelong midfielder Cameron Ling doesn't plan to do anything differently going into the biggest game of his AFL career.

The left-footer, who will make his finals debut this Sunday against Port Adelaide, said he would prepare for the clash as if it's his 88th home and away game.

But until he has played a final he cannot know how fierce the early contests will be, how quick the game has become despite a five-month lead-up and how desperate his opponents will be.

The Cats and St Kilda represent the finals novices in 2004 and, between them, have just 25 players with September experience.

Both teams have stars yet to taste finals action: Saints captain Lenny Hayes, Nick Riewoldt and Luke Ball and Geelong's Gary Ablett, Ling and full-forward Kent Kingsley.

In contrast, triple-premiers Brisbane boasts 25 men who have played 338 finals between them and Lion Chris Scott this week made the point that while the Saints think they know what finals tempo is like, they are a long way behind Brisbane.

Geelong has used sports psychologists to prepare the novices but Ling is trying to keep it as simple as possible.

"I'm not going to change my build-up or preparation or anything like that, but it's exciting obviously," he said.

"You play footy to play finals, so it's a good chance for me to do that and a lot of the boys haven't played finals so they're all approaching it the same way."

At St Kilda, the onus has been on the more experienced players to help teammates on what to expect from Brisbane on Friday night.

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