We want top Cats in NAB decider: Scott - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We want top Cats in NAB decider: Scott

By Robert Grant 09/03/2009 08:37:53 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood want to round off the perfect AFL pre-season by matching themselves against a full-strength Geelong in Friday night's NAB Cup grand final.

Unlike many other clubs, the Magpies and the Cats have fielded strong sides throughout the pre-season.

They are expected to draw a crowd of more than 40,000 to Friday night's decider at Etihad Stadium, where Brad Scott will fill in for Collingwood senior coach Mick Malthouse.

"Geelong's best possible team is what we're expecting and what we're hoping for," Scott said on Monday.

"Without doubt, and no disrespect to Hawthorn winning a premiership last year, Geelong have proven to be the benchmark the last two years.

"They're the team that we're looking to test ourselves against and hopefully (Jimmy) Bartel and (Joel) Selwood and (Andrew) Mackie and (Corey) Enright, if they're available, all come back in.

"We can test ourselves and we can see where we're at against some of the best players in the competition.

"I think that's what they'll do - if those players are available - it's a NAB Cup grand final and they'll want to win it just as much as we do.

"It was always going to be a big game this week regardless of whether it was NAB Cup or NAB Challenge because traditionally this game's always a dress rehearsal before round one."

Collingwood are planning to again select a powerful side, but will not be tempted to select forwards Paul Medhurst and Anthony Rocca, who are recovering from injury and have yet to play in 2009.

"From the start of the NAB Cup campaign we've had a fairly healthy list so we've been able to put good players in every week, still knowing we're resting players when necessary to prepare for the season proper," Scott said.

"With one or two exceptions we'll be able to field a very strong side.

"We haven't been forced to rush Paul Medhurst back in the side because Brent Macaffer has come up and done a good job when he's played.

"We haven't had to force our hand with Anthony Rocca either, we've been able to maintain his progress at a slow and steady pace and get him right for the season proper."

Scott said Rocca would struggle to be fit for round one "at this stage".

"We're not rushing his progress ... it's just a matter of how he pulls up week to week," he said.

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