Bartel top of the class for Cats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bartel top of the class for Cats

By Greg Buckle 07/09/2010 04:41:50 PM Comments (0)

Who is the only player in Geelong's top five for kicks, handballs, disposals, marks and tackles in 2010?

Not Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett.

Not Norm Smith medallist Paul Chapman.

And not Corey Enright, who tied with Ablett in last year's Cats' best and fairest count.

It's not even one of Geelong's seven 2010 All-Australian team candidates - Ablett, Chapman, Enright, Steve Johnson, James Kelly, Harry Taylor and Joel Selwood.

That celebrated group have all failed to match Jimmy Bartel's all-round efforts in the club stats.

Best-afield in a losing side in last week's soggy qualifying final against St Kilda at the MCG, the 2007 Brownlow medallist wasn't the target of Mark Thompson's sharp tongue when the Cats coach called on his players to be desperate from the first bounce this week, or careers are on the line.

Praised over the weekend as the best wet-weather footballer in the land, Bartel will be untroubled if more rain makes conditions a bit tougher for the players in Friday night's cut-throat semi-final against Fremantle at the MCG.

Ablett leads the Cats for disposals (680) and is in the club's top five in four of the five leading categories, only missing out for marks.

While the 182cm Ablett is capable of taking screamers, including his spectacular grab against West Coast in round 22, Bartel is arguably a better high mark and at 187cm he has the ability to out-smart and out-manoeuvre taller opponents.

In the battle of the Brownlow medallists and two-time premiership players, Bartel's CV stacks up okay against Ablett's - and the other six 2010 high-profile All-Australian nominees from Skilled Stadium.

And if Ablett does go to the Gold Coast next year, the Cats will have an even greater reliance on the 26-year-old Bartel.

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