We must take risks to win, Cats say - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We must take risks to win, Cats say

By Robert Grant 24/09/2009 03:59:17 PM Comments (0)

Geelong have admitted they must take risks to win Saturday's AFL grand final against St Kilda.

And they are adamant they cannot allow the Saints to repeat the first term demolition they sprung during their last clash in round 14.

Star midfielder Jimmy Bartel says these are the key lessons the side learnt from their mid-season meeting.

"If we play the Geelong way, which is pretty risky, it will help us kick goals against them," Bartel said.

"We don't need to give them another five-goal head start like we did in the first five minutes.

"We need to come out ready to play and attack the game, and really take it up to them, because they've got the best defence, probably one of the best of all time, so we're just going to have to really go at them."

Bartel said Geelong learned in that match what they already knew - that St Kilda was a pacesetting side which would be hard to topple.

"They're a very good side, I think everybody knew that, and they just reaffirmed in our minds after watching them for the 13 weeks leading up to that game how well they've gelled as a unit," he said.

"They're an experienced side - they don't have too many blokes who haven't played a hundred games and they're very well structured.

"They bring extraordinary pressure on the ball, they've got that zone working well for them where everyone pushes up but that's just something we've got to be ready for."

Nevertheless Geelong are playing the team they want to play - both because the Saints were the best all season and because they are out to avenge their earlier loss.

"It's great to play the best - I don't think I'm saying anything out of line there - the Saints are the best, they only lost two games for the year," he said.

The Cats are playing in their third straight grand final after winning in 2007 and losing to Hawthorn last year.

Bartel said it was not necessary for the club to win again on Saturday to prove itself.

"I want to win another one, and hopefully next year I can sit here and say I want to win another one again.

"We can't control how people judge us, so hopefully we win this weekend," he said.

However, he said this year was different to the past two in that the side was feeling less pressure heading into the game and was more relaxed.

"They're all different," Bartel said.

"(The) 2007 (grand final) was going for something unknown and 2008 was dealing with the pressure of having such a good year leading up to it and this year we're all pretty relaxed - three in a row."

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