Cats aim to be more selfless: Thompson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats aim to be more selfless: Thompson

12/05/2009 07:21:06 PM Comments (0)

The fallout at Geelong from last year's upset AFL grand final loss has gone well beyond the need for more goalkicking practice.

Coach Mark Thompson has given an insight into some significant behind-the-scenes adjustments.

Last summer's look in the mirror showed the Cats were becoming too selfish and were not paying enough respect to the game's rapidly-evolving tactics.

Geelong and St Kilda enjoy a massive three-game lead at the top of the ladder after seven games and the Cats have won an amazing 48 out of their last 51 games.

The Cats underwent a well-publicised revolution off the field between their 2006 disaster and the drought-breaking 2007 premiership.

Although not as dramatic during this last off-season, the Cats definitely went further than directing their players to work more on their goalkicking.

Thompson chose his words carefully on Tuesday as he opened the door a little on the team's philosophies.

"The big thing that we want to be this year, we want to be the best team and the most selfless team - which is something we probably weren't last year ... not just on the field, everywhere, on and off the field," he said.

Thompson added that the team needed to be more adaptable during matches.

"I just felt at times last year they were just winning without listening" he said.

"They just felt their best could beat the opposition - this year, they've come back and they realise the game evolves and there's more competition and they have to learn new ways to play to stay in front.

"There was a big reality check, we had certain things we wanted to work on after last season and one of them was to train harder, we did that.

"One of them was to have more plan As, plan Bs, plan Cs and look at the evolution of the game, how we can pick the trends and stay in front of them."

Geelong were without No.1 player Gary Ablett last Saturday, but did not miss a beat as they easily disposed of Sydney.

He will miss another week, despite Ablett saying he hoped to be available for Saturday's home game against North Melbourne.

Again, Thompson said the Cats could cope without Ablett so well because of teamwork.

"Gary is a great player, but Gary plays in a really good team and he's got good players around him," he said.

"This is not demeaning Gary, because he's just an absolute star and his ability is enormous, but this group all help each other become good players, become a good team.

"Hopefully we never lose sight of that as a club."

But ruckman Brad Ottens is out of action for up to another month as he struggles to overcome his knee injury.

Thompson is confident Ottens will start running again this week.

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