Geelong are embracing heightened expectations of their AFL side in 2016 after their recent recruiting spree.
The Cats are widely tipped to be strong contenders for a top-four spot next season after snaring Patrick Dangerfield, Lachie Henderson, Zac Smith and Scott Selwood during this year’s trade and free agency periods.
Chris Scott’s men were well off the premiership pace this season, missing the finals for the first time since 2006, but the coach has no problem setting the bar high for his revitalised squad.
“I’m not trying to manage expectations … we genuinely feel excited that we do have as good a chance as most other teams in the comp to finish right up there,” Scott told SEN radio on Wednesday.
“We instigated a plan probably five or six years ago to put ourselves in a position in 2016 where we’d have a list that could compete and I’m relatively comfortable that we’ve done that.”
The bold recruiting raid isn’t without risk as Geelong sacrificed first-round picks this year and next year to secure the signatures of Dangerfield and Henderson.
The Cats won’t make their first call at next week’s national draft until pick 67 but Scott rejects the notion their audacious bid to rise quickly back up the ladder has jeopardised the future.
“It’s certainly not a short-term play from here,” he said.
“We need to … get those guys gelling and understanding our system, but the four players we’ve brought in are 25.
“So we’re not judging the success of our recruiting strategy over the past five or six years and the organic growth within our list, purely on 2016.”