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We'll be on track: Cats

Robert Grant 19/03/2011 05:28:07 PM Comments (0)

Geelong captain Cameron Ling has warned that the Cats' star playmakers can improve even more as he signals the club's notable departures will not derail their 2011 season.

The loss of coach Mark Thompson and Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett have caused some commentators to mark the end of the Geelong era.

But Ling says they remain fully on track to be among the pacesetters this season, with new coach Chris Scott tweaking their approach and coaxing more from the players.

Ling named a number of regulars who need to step up but also pinpointed the Cats' marquee names, including club best and fairest and All-Australian Joel Selwood.

"Tommy Hawkins and Simon Hogan, guys who we have seen a little bit more of it, now need to take it to the next level," Ling said.

"Trav Varcoe the same. The real improvement can come from those guys.

"But we want to get improvement from every player in the list. Steve Johnson can take his game to another level, Jimmy Bartel, even Joel Selwood.

"It's a scary thought, but Joel Selwood can take it to another level."

Predictions of gloom came quickly following the departure of Ablett and Thompson but Ling says Scott's approach will not mean a dramatic switch in approach.

"It certainly won't change radically," Ling said, describing Scott as "fantastic."

"He came into the first meeting and said 90 per cent of what we do is spot on. It's why we have been successful and he doesn't want to change that.

"He wants to improve that, but he doesn't want to change that."

Like Hawthorn, Geelong has realised the game is changing and the Cats need to keep up.

"That 10 per cent is where we need to improve and just change a little bit with the trends of the game.

"We do need to tweak those little areas, if we can improve in them as well as in the areas we have done quite well, it puts us up there with a chance."

Ling indicated that Scott would not make wholesale changes to the list unless they were necessary and younger players will have to work hard to elbow their way into the team.

"They'll get chances if they deserve those chances. That's what Scotty has said. He won't be just giving anyone games. They have to earn it.

"What we've seen in the pre-season is they are doing their best to earn it."

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