Thompson wonders if occasion got to Cats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thompson wonders if occasion got to Cats

By Adam Cooper 27/09/2008 10:27:00 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson is preached defiance, telling the AFL club's faithful he is determined to "smash" next season.

Thompson, club chief executive Brian Cook and president Frank Costa urged Cats fans to keep the faith at the official post-grand final dinner.

It was a sombre event for several hundred guests at the national tennis centre as they lamented the 26-point grand final loss to Hawthorn.

Thompson and the players were presented on stage before heading back to Geelong.

"Our guys will bounce back - we're taking it hard and I don't think you'd want us to take it any other way," Thompson said.

"I'm already really determined just to go back and smash them in 2009.

"The fact is, this group is better than just winning one premiership and that's the challenge now."

Thompson said that after the exhilaration of last year's drought-breaking premiership, it was important that the Cats also show class after the defeat.

He pointed out that Geelong had enjoyed a near-perfect season and had most elements in place to continue as one of the AFL's top clubs.

"We just want to go home, but we can't do that. We have to face the music. Today we were beaten by a better team," he said.

"But the core of our business, everything we believe in, is right.

"We have got to make sure it doesn't actually smash our club ... it doesn't take us too far backwards."

Cook warned Cats fans not to judge the team too harshly on Saturday's performance.

"Unfortunately, we might be judged by many people on how we performed today, our last game ... that's how some people think," Cook said.

"We actually know we've been the best team for the year and today didn't work for us."

Cook, like every other Geelong fan, was bemused that the team seemed to have the measure of Hawthorn in most facets of the game - but still lost.

He said would be a waste if the club did not learn from what went wrong.

"We doubled the clearances, we took the ball into the 50m 62 times, our average this year has been 45," he said.

"It's just amazing that all of our KPIs (key performance indicators) were achieved, apart from one ... the scoreboard.

"We have to learn from today. We have to take advantage and use it as a lever for next year because, if we don't, today is wasted."

Cook, like Thompson, is already starting to think to next year and said it was vital that this current team make the most of their potential.

"To me, three grand finals in a row, if we win two out of three, (it's) not bad," he said.

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