Thompson feels for missing Wojcinski - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thompson feels for missing Wojcinski

By Adam Cooper and Sam Lienert 26/09/2008 06:30:22 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson maintains David Wojcinski is still in the Cats' best side despite the half-back being dumped for Saturday's AFL grand final against Hawthorn.

Wojcinski was the unlucky Cat to make way for half-forward Paul Chapman's return from a hamstring injury, after being told during the week by Thompson he was a chance to miss out.

"I did go and have a chat to him early in the week and he told me that I'm one of the boys that could miss out, so I knew that I was one of those guys," Wojcinski said on Friday.

"It was a little bit hard because I know what I'm missing out on if we win tomorrow, so that's obviously a little bit disappointing."

Wojcinski attributed the Achilles injury he suffered in round 15 as contributing to his omission, as he played only one more game for the season, last weekend's preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs.

Thompson said that lack of match fitness was crucial in the club's decision to drop him.

"When he's in good form he's in our best 22, no doubt," Thompson said.

"Everyone in the room, anybody who knows Geelong would know that.

"Unfortunately he hasn't had the year he or we wanted ... he's very, very unlucky."

Having had the unpleasant task of informing Mark Blake he would not play in last year's grand final, Thompson said Wojcinski took the news as well as he could have.

"But he knows that the club is bigger than the individual and he's part of it," he said.

"Not the part that he'd probably want, but he's still part of the club."

Wojcinski could at least draw solace from playing in last year's drought-breaking premiership triumph.

"It does a bit, to be honest I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and I just hope the boys can have a good win," he said.

" ... Life goes on and you've just got to move on and look to next year and hopefully we go again."

There are four changes to the Geelong side which beat Port Adelaide in last year's grand final.

Wojcinski and Shannon Byrnes could not earn selection and are emergencies on Saturday, while ruckman Steven King was traded to St Kilda and forward Nathan Ablett retired.

Their replacements are Blake, Travis Varcoe, Harry Taylor and Tom Lonergan.

Varcoe was considered one of the possible omissions from the side, until Thompson gave the forward a guarantee he would play in the grand final after the win over the Bulldogs.

"I'm just trying to take it in a little bit," Varcoe said.

"We all play footy for this day, so I'm pretty rapt to be here."

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