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Mooney concentrating on AFL temperament

By Sam Lienert 08/03/2007 07:22:47 PM Comments (0)

Geelong forward Cameron Mooney admits he needs to cut moments of stupidity from his game after being appointed to an official leadership position at the AFL club.

The big man with a short fuse has been named deputy vice-captain of the club, with Cameron Ling vice-captain.

Both will act as deputies to recently-appointed skipper Tom Harley.

Mooney, 27, was suspended a record four times last season.

"It's not so much changing my game as just more not doing the stupid little things any more," he said.

"That was last year, we've talked about it and we've dealt with it and that's in the past now."

Mooney, whose Cats take on Brisbane in a NAB Cup semi-final at Telstra Dome on Friday night, also said he planned to make centre half-forward his own this season.

Last year, he mixed a forward role with stints in the midfield, but coach Mark Thompson has acceded to his request for a permanent role in attack.

"He wants to play there and he wants to be deeply involved in the organisation of the forward line," Thompson said.

"He's in the leadership group, he's our deputy vice-captain and he's really looking forward to the challenge of getting that forward line to function properly."

His job will have added importance on Friday night, with the Cats pulling key forward Brad Ottens out of their side, along with key defender Harley.

Football operations manager Neil Balme said neither Ottens nor Harley were carrying any significant injury, with the move part of a plan to ensure all players were in optimum shape for the home and away season.

But Mooney said it did not indicate a lack of interest in winning on Friday night.

"We want to win every game we play and we want to win on the weekend and hopefully win the week after if we get there," he said.

"But at the end of the day the main season is our main priority."

Mooney said the club had looked closely this week at the large number of young Brisbane players who excelled in the Lions' surprise NAB Cup wins over St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs.

"They've got ... some guys who probably aren't familiar names, so we've really studied them hard this week, because the last thing we want to do is not give them the respect that they deserve," he said.

Brisbane veteran Chris Johnson said the Lions, who have had to replace a large chunk of the team that played in four grand finals from 2001-04, had a strong belief in their latest crop of players.

"The skill level and all that's been there, it's just whether you can put it all together on that one day," he said.

"They've done that on the last two occasions we've come up against an opposition, so the young guys have stood up in that sort of area and handled themselves very well."

Meanwhile, Geelong has allowed forward pocket Steve Johnson to resume training with the club after sending him into exile for an off-season incident.

However, Mooney said Johnson would still not play until at least round six.

That ban was imposed after he was arrested for being drunk in a public place on Christmas Eve and then took more than a week to tell the club.

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