Guthrie gives Cats coaches AFL options

Geelong assistants Matthew Knights and Matthew Scarlett have a good-natured AFL coaching turf war that they hope becomes a headache for their Sydney counterparts.

Just as Knights the midfield coach loves Cam Guthrie in his planning, Scarlett the backline coach wants the utility playing off halfback.

It’s a handy option for the Cats ahead of their preliminary final final against the Swans on Friday night at the MCG.

“Scarlo and I sit next to each other in the office – we’re always wrestling about who can get hold of Guthrie first,” Knights joked.

“We come to a happy medium every now and again.”

Guthrie started as a defender in their epic qualifying final win over Hawthorn, playing on Cyril Rioli.

But he went into the midfield for the second half and was outstanding.

Guthrie’s solid form has helped add depth to the Cats midfield, led by stars Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood.

Knights notes that Hawthorn’s Shaun Burgoyne and Sydney co-captain Jarrad McVeigh perform the same dual role as Guthrie, also to awesome effect.

But McVeigh will miss Friday’s match because of a calf injury.

The Swans recalled Zak Jones and Kurt Tippett, with Toby Nankervis the other omission.

Tippett returns from the jaw injury he suffered in the qualifying final loss to the Giants.

The Swans kept Gary Rohan in the side, despite the leg injury he suffered last Saturday night as they won their semi-final against Adelaide.

Geelong also lost luckless forward Daniel Menzel to a groin injury.

The win over Hawthorn was Menzel’s first final since 2011 – in between, he has endured four knee reconstructions.

The Cats dropped Tom Ruggles, while tall utility Lachie Henderson returns from knee surgery and Jed Bews was also recalled.

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