Geeong’s ignominious end to the 2016 AFL season still doesn’t sit well with Patrick Dangerfield, the Brownlow medallist demanding a lift across the board from the Cats.
Geelong’s premiership tilt was effectively over at quarter-time of their preliminary final after Sydney’s devastating seven-goals-to-nil opening blitz.
Dangerfield admitted the manner of the resounding defeat still irks him as the club’s full playing list came together for pre-season training.
“I think it will be in the back of the mind for a fair while … it was a bitterly disappointing way to finish the season, but we look forward to 2017,” Dangerfield told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t in the back of my mind, but we need to look forward.”
Dangerfield, who was the runaway Brownlow Medal winner just days after the Cats’ finals exit, still has areas of his game he wants to improve.
But he and midfield partner Joel Selwood could barely have done much more against the Swans, gathering 39 disposals each.
The former Adelaide star agreed a more even contribution was required for his side to be a legitimate challenger.
“I think we all need to share the load better … we need to perform better for each other,” he said.
“We were too inconsistent when we really required our very best at the pointy end of the season.
“The good teams perform consistently and that’s what we need to strive to get to.
“Other teams around us are improving as well … GWS, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs – I’m sure they’re not resting on their laurels.”
Mercurial midfielder Steve Motlop looms as a key factor next year after an inconsistent 2016 campaign saw him put up for trade by the Cats, who found no suitors.
After returning from holidays out of shape last year, Motlop cut a lean figure at Simonds Stadium on Wednesday.
“Steve’s in really good shape, which is really good to see,” Dangerfield said.
“He’s one of the best players in the competition when he plays at his best so we need that and we need it consistently and I’m confident he’ll be able to do that.”