Sub rule no easy way back for Cats stars - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sub rule no easy way back for Cats stars

By Sam Lienert 22/03/2011 07:29:27 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Chris Scott says it would be too risky to use the AFL's new substitute rule to nurse stars Cameron Ling and Paul Chapman back to action against St Kilda on Friday night.

While forwards James Podsiadly (hand) and Shannon Byrnes (calf) have been ruled out for the big MCG clash, the Cats are still tossing up whether Ling and Chapman are ready, after injury-hampered pre-seasons.

But Scott said if either or both play, they will have to be prepared to spend as much time on-field as anyone else.

"It's really clear, that if you get an injury in the first 10 minutes then you're no chance to play one player for half a game," Scott said.

"So if we bring them in, even if we bring someone in as a sub, we've got to be prepared for the fact that they might need to play 80 per cent gametime."

Captain Ling did not play in the pre-season, after aggravating what was expected to be a four-week hamstring injury, which meant he was sidelined for about seven weeks.

Chapman has been recovering from a groin strain.

Scott said despite Ling's lack of match practice, his intensity at training had forced the Cats' match committee to consider him.

He said Chapman's flexibility, in being able to play midfield or in attack, helped his cause.

Podsiadly has been out with a hand fracture, but Scott said the fact that it had not restricted his general fitness, only his ball-handling, meant he was a good chance to return in round two.

Several of the club's younger players, including Taylor Hunt, Daniel Menzel, Mitch Duncan and Mitch Brown, were in contention to play against the Saints.

But while Scott he will give opportunities to the younger end of what is clearly the AFL's oldest list, he said the experienced brigade that delivered flags in 2007 and 2009 were not ready for what many expect will be an inevitable slide.

"We're here to create our own history," he said.

"The fact that the objective data shows it's difficult to do isn't news to anyone at Geelong. I'm sure it's not news to you guys outside of Geelong either.

"There will be question marks over older players if they don't perform at the level.

"Our intention is to make sure they are performing at the level."

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