Cats roll dice with Cockatoo AFL recall

Geelong have rolled the dice with the selection of Nakia Cockatoo but teammate Andrew Mackie says the talented but injury-prone speedster is worth the gamble.

The Cats made two unforced changes for Friday night’s preliminary final against Adelaide with Cockatoo and Tom Lonergan replacing James Parsons and Zach Guthrie.

Lonergan’s inclusion was expected after he missed the semi-final win over Sydney with food poisoning, but Cockatoo’s selection carries a great deal more risk.

The 20-year-old speedster has been kept to 10 games this season by hamstring injuries and has played just once – in round 19 – since injury sidelined him in round 13.

“It’s exciting … Nakia Cockatoo can really get after the opposition,” Mackie told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“He tackles hard, he tackles to hurt, and I expect nothing different (against the Crows.

“He was great in the game where he came back … he kicked a couple of goals and was up and about.

“He’s done the work and he’s ready to go – it’s just exciting for us that he was able to get himself up.”

Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield was named at full-forward after last week’s stunning four-goal performance.

Adelaide named veteran tall Andy Otten to replace hamstrung forward Mitch McGovern.

The Crows also regained Rory Sloane for the Adelaide Oval clash after he missed the qualifying-final win over Greater Western Sydney following emergency appendix surgery.

Otten, 28, last played at AFL level in the round-19 draw with Collingwood.

Guthrie and Parsons are emergencies along with Jordan Murdoch, while the Crows’ emergencies are Wayne Milera, Alex Keath and Reilly O’Brien.

In Saturday’s match at the MCG, Richmond and Greater Western Sydney have gone with unchanged sides meaning GWS veteran Steve Johnson keeps his spot.

After missing the qualifying final loss to Adelaide, Johnson cast aside doubts about his troublesome knee and tapering form to kick six goals in last week’s big semi-final win over West Coast.

Devon Smith has missed both GWS finals with a knee injury but is named as an emergency with Harry Perryman and Sam Reid.

Shai Bolton, Corey Ellis and Shaun Hampson are the emergencies for Richmond.

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