Geelong's Bartel backs Selwood - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong's Bartel backs Selwood

By Robert Grant 08/09/2010 01:21:56 PM Comments (0)

Geelong star Jimmy Bartel has backed his midfield mate Joel Selwood to bounce back hard in Friday night's AFL semi-final against Fremantle at the MCG.

Selwood was one of several big-name Cats to have their colours lowered in the opening half of last weekend's narrow loss to St Kilda in the first week of the finals.

"He's been working 10 times as hard and I think they'll probably have to pull the reins on him," Bartel said on Wednesday.

"He sets the bar extremely high and to his credit he's delivered week in and week out and that's why everyone is talking when he's finally shown up a bad game.

"But he'll come out firing - I can't see him playing two in a row like that."

Bartel said the Cats were determined to give Selwood and Gary Ablett as much support as possible as the side's two best ball-winners.

Despite Geelong's overwhelming favouritism, Bartel insisted the Cats would take nothing for granted against the Dockers.

"Everyone else thinks (we're favourites) but we know how good Freo have been all year and how good they are so there will be no difference for us in preparing for another good side."

Giant Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands hurt his knee in last weekend's win over Hawthorn, but Bartel remained adamant he would still present a big hurdle this week.

"He'll still play and he's still the biggest man in the competition that we've got to get around," he said.

Bartel simply replied "yep" when asked if Geelong were confident of winning another flag, although he admitted their pathway through the finals series needed adjusting to.

"It's been some time since we've had to play a couple of finals in a row so its hard to compare," he said.

"But it`s certainly exciting and it's a different challenge from recent years and one we're looking forward to.

"You have a look at young sides and they've got nothing to fear and they play with exuberance and excitement but hopefully experience works in our favour this week."

Bartel said that while the side played poorly last week in the first half and well in the second half to pull up four points short against St Kilda, they had learnt lessons from both periods of the game.

He said the first half showed where improvement was needed while the second proved that if the Cats played their game properly they could score against any team.

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