Mooney will strike when it counts: Scott - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mooney will strike when it counts: Scott

Sam Lienert 31/05/2011 07:37:14 PM Comments (0)

He's yet to kick a goal this year and no certainty to play any given week, but Geelong veteran forward Cameron Mooney will make an impact when it counts, his coach believes.

Coach Chris Scott is confident the 31-year-old forward, restricted by a troublesome knee to five AFL games so far this season, can return to his damaging best.

While Mooney's knee makes him a week-to-week selection proposition, and the behind he kicked in round one was his only score so far this season, Scott expects his form and fitness to peak as finals approach.

"Nothing's changed from last week, or six weeks ago for that matter," Scott said of his confidence in Mooney.

"He's always going to be on a managed program, which meant he was going to play a limited number of games and have a program which is geared around him being as good as he can be in August or September."

Scott said Mooney, who missed the two games preceding Saturday night's clash with Gold Coast, was no guarantee to front against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday, but that did not really matter.

"Whether he plays this week or not is not really the issue," Scott said.

"We'll make a decision that's based around August and September."

Likewise, Scott said 22-year-old tall forward Tom Hawkins was not providing what the club wanted at this stage, but remained important long-term.

"He's not holding his marks the way that he can, but we're not panicking with Tom," Scott said.

"He is still a very young key position player who is going to be an important part of our plans."

Geelong have five players potentially in line to return against the Bulldogs - Brad Ottens, Harry Taylor, Corey Enright, Mitch Duncan and Allen Christensen - who all missed the Suns match with minor injuries.

Scott said it might not be ideal to include them all at once.

But Ottens, rested on Saturday night as the Cats manage his chronic knee problem, is a near-certainty to return.

Scott says Ottens' ruck understudy, two-gamer Nathan Vardy, should also retain his spot, provided he overcomes neck soreness resulting from a high bump from Gold Coast's Karmichael Hunt.

That could mean a demotion to the VFL for Hawkins.

Scott said the struggles by the side's key forwards were not the only areas that needed attention, despite the club's unbeaten start.

Geelong have lost five of their nine first quarters and the coach said their contested possession count was also below-par.

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