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No great pressure on us: Cats

By Greg Buckle 15/09/2010 04:16:17 PM Comments (0)

Four of Geelong's 2009 premiership heroes are in their 30s and star player Gary Ablett is tossing up a huge offer from Gold Coast.

The Cats are under pressure to squeeze a third premiership in four years from the current playing group before their period of finals dominance ends.

But don't tell skipper Cameron Ling, who doesn't see any extra pressure on the Cats and says Ablett's mooted move to new club the Suns next year isn't an issue at Geelong.

Ling did however back coach Mark Thompson's controversial comment that preliminary final opponents Collingwood would be jealous of Geelong's recent success.

"On grand final day I was always jealous of the team that was celebrating," Ling said on Wednesday.

"There's definitely a hint of that, for probably every player in the competition, not just Collingwood this week.

"Every year there's probably 15 clubs who are jealous of the team that wins the premiership.

"Hopefully the 15 clubs will be jealous of us this year."

Asked about the ticking clock at Geelong, with Darren Milburn, Cam Mooney, Brad Ottens and Matthew Scarlett all in their 30s, Ling said: "I don't know about pressure.

"It's just what really motivates us," the 29-year-old midfielder added.

"Everyone plays the game to win premierships and this group is a really competitive group and loves the challenge of ... playing at this time of the year."

While the Cats are motivated to continue their successful run, the Magpies will be desperate to win after their heartbreaking 2007 and 2009 losses to Geelong in preliminary finals.

"It's hard to compare it to last year," Ling said.

"I'd love to say that's going to count and we're going to have the same result but it just doesn't work that way. It's what happens on the night."

Brownlow Medallist Ablett, 26, said this week he's keen to captain an AFL team one day - although he didn't specify which one.

Ling said the All-Australian vice-captain was a big contributor at Geelong's team meetings and a fantastic leader.

"He really brings a lot to the table," Ling said.

"He obviously leads the way with the way he plays on the field and his training attitude and the way he goes about everything.

"Whether or not he wants to have the captaincy title next to his name is up to him."

Ling said the players were "not even talking about" the possibility Friday night's blockbuster could be Ablett's last game for the Cats.

"It's not an issue amongst the playing group," Ling said.

"We're well-prepared to take on Collingwood and give it our best shot."

All-Australian Harry Taylor was soundly beaten by St Kilda's Nick Riewoldt in the qualifying final.

The tall defender's battle with Travis Cloke could be crucial to the outcome.

"Nick Riewoldt played some good footy against Harry in the first final. But Nick Riewoldt is an absolute superstar," Ling said.

"I know Harry was disappointed after that game but I think he bounced back really well last week."

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