Cats coach disappointed with Mooney - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats coach disappointed with Mooney

20/05/2009 05:47:54 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson says bad boy forward Cameron Mooney has let his AFL team down after racking up yet another suspension, but remains confident he is a reformed character.

Mooney was banned for one match for striking North Melbourne's Scott Thompson last weekend and will miss the Cats' top four clash with the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

It was serial bad boy Mooney's 13th tribunal or match review panel charge and the 14th game he will miss through suspension in his career.

But it was also his first suspension in three years, after working hard to reform his ways following a 2006 season in which he was banned on four separate occasions.

His coach admitted his disappointment at Mooney's action in clearly striking his North opponent to earn the one-match ban.

But Mark Thompson said he didn't give Mooney a spray afterwards, nor had he lost his faith that Mooney was trying desperately to mend his ways.

"He let the club down, he let himself down, he let the players down. He knows that, you don't have to say too much to him," Thompson said on Wednesday.

"He's been a much improved person in that area for two and a half years. I think this was just a little lapse."

Thompson said he was likely to promote Tom Lonergan or Ryan Gamble to cover Mooney's absence, while defender David Johnson is also in line for a recall.

But he also has the luxury of returning two of the competition's best players - Gary Ablett and Paul Chapman - to an already imposing line-up for the clash with the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

Thompson gave Ablett the tick of approval following a good week's training after a fortnight out with groin trouble.

Chapman, a late withdrawal from the Cats' victory last weekend with back soreness, completed the team's skills session on Tuesday.

Thompson said provided Chapman could run properly and train with his teammates on Thursday, the busy half-forward would be a certain inclusion.

"Gary's 100 per cent right, Chappy will have to run at close to full strength tomorrow, and we're pretty confident that will happen," Thompson said.

The Cats haven't been beaten in eight matches this season - nor looked in any real danger of defeat.

But they face one of their toughest assignments this year in the Bulldogs, who have a 5-3 record and sit third.

"They're not too far off it and they've won enough games to be third, so we expect a really exciting game. They're a challenge to play against," Thompson said of their preliminary final opponents last year.

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