Expect late changes says Thompson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Expect late changes says Thompson

08/04/2009 06:46:10 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson admits the five-day turnaround might force late selection changes ahead of their Easter Thursday AFL clash against Collingwood.

While the Cats made three changes for the MCG blockbuster, Collingwood recalled Dale Thomas and also named key forward Anthony Rocca as an emergency.

The two teams had wins on Saturday and Thompson said the short lead-up to Thursday's game made it difficult to pick a definitive side on Wednesday.

"In all fairness, we just can't make decisions - it's a five-day turnaround, so you can't really be clear on your side after four days," Thompson said.

"So don't read too much into the team and understand that it may not be the team that lines up tomorrow night."

The Cats recalled ruckman Trent West along with Shannon Byrnes and Mathew Stokes.

Ruckman Brad Ottens is out with a knee injury, Simon Hogan has soreness and Ryan Gamble was dropped.

While Thomas missed last weekend through illness, Rocca has not played in the senior team since round 13 last year because of injury.

Coach Mick Malthouse, acutely aware of the hype surrounding Rocca, said on Wednesday that the big forward was close to a recall.

"This won't be through public reaction, media pressure, but we know Anthony attracts a lot of attention," he said.

"If he doesn't play well, he gets a lot more attention for one reason or another, because he's Anthony Rocca.

"If he does play well, we've won because of Anthony Rocca, so he gets loaded up, fairly or unfairly.

"We have an agenda ourselves in regards to how long and how often we want to see him play."

The Cats and Magpies have had an interesting rivalry over the last two years.

Geelong beat Collingwood by less than a kick in the 2007 preliminary final on the way to the premiership.

Last season, the Magpies belted them by 86 points in Geelong's only loss of the regular season.

The Cats then smashed Collingwood by 76 points last month in the NAB Cup grand final.

"We never wanted to think about it, that little nightmare is something we've pushed behind us," Malthouse said.

"We want to forget that we played three weeks ago.

"You can't ignore it - the facts are, we got thumped, their side won't change dramatically, our's probably won't change dramatically.

"We just have to be better."

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