VFL: Fringe Cats push for senior recall

Geelong have plenty of selection headaches before their qualifying final clash against Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday night as several depth players push for a recall from the 22-point loss in the Cats VFL elimination final against Essendon on Saturday.

Midfielder Nakia Cockatoo, defender Jed Bews and forward Shane Kersten are considered to be the most likely that would press for selection in the Cats’ AFL finals campaign.

Photo: Vince Caligiuri

Crucially, it was the last  time these depth players could press for a senior recall, as the Cats’ VFL season ended.

Cockatoo finished with 17 disposals and two goals, but the livewire largely impressed with his second efforts, smothers and tackles in the clinches, while Kersten also snared two majors at North Port Oval.

Cats midfielder Billie Smedts was a late withdrawal with hamstring tightness, just a week after dominating with his best match in the VFL with 34 touches.

Perhaps their chances may hinge upon whether midfielder Scott Selwood recovers in time for the clash from hamstring tightness.

The Cats hierarchy opted not to risk Selwood in the VFL clash, but if he is to return for the qualifying final clash on Friday night, it will be his first match in three weeks. The former Eagles vice-captain was a late withdrawal in the round 23 clash against the Demons.

Selwood was seen running laps and taking part in the Cats main training session in Waurn Ponds on Saturday morning, and appears likely to return in a bid to nullify Hawks midfielder Sam Mitchell.

Defender Lachie Henderson remains in doubt after not taking part in the session. The former Blue had minor knee surgery two weeks ago.

Hawthorn got some much-needed game time into defender Matt Spangher in the Box Hill VFL development league win at Casey Fields.

Spangher spent plenty of time in defence, while pinch-hitting in the ruck at times, giving the Hawks another suitable option for finals.

Box Hill is through to the VFL development grand final on September 17, which means Spangher will be forced to have the week off, if he is not selected against Geelong on Friday night.

Meanwhile, former Cat James Kelly said he was confident in his body going for another season at Essendon, but still remained undecided.

“I do feel good and that’s obviously a factor in the decision…it’s not the only thing as well,” Kelly told Channel Seven.