Joel Selwood has warned it will take a lot more than his double act with Patrick Dangerfield for Geelong to rebound in the AFL.
Apart from Dangerfield’s obvious talent, the major benefit of his move from Adelaide to the Cats is that it will take a lot of pressure off Selwood in the midfield.
The Geelong captain was battered during this season and will not return to pre-season training until after Christmas.
Having Dangerfield in Geelong’s midfield rotations gives opposition taggers a much greater challenge.
Asked on Thursday who they would tag first, Selwood jumped in first with “Paddy”.
But the Cats skipper said they needed all-round improvement after dropping out of the top eight for the first time since 2006.
“It’s more as a collective than the two of us,” Selwood said.
“It’s not going to be the two of us that get us over the line come September, October next year.
“We have to work in with the whole group and we’ll be doing that.”
Dangerfield added it would probably take a few games early next season for himself and Geelong’s other recruits to adapt.
“There’s an adjustment period with anything like that,” Dangerfield said.
“When you’ve been in the same environment for a long period of time, you really understand the players you’re playing with.
“So that will be an adjusting time for all of us who’ve moved clubs.”
Despite this year’s slump, there is growing excitement at Geelong – especially with Dangerfield joining through free agency.
They are talking about a return to the top four.
Their membership is at 37,000 – a record for this time of year – and on Thursday they announced a five-year extension of the long-running Ford sponsorship.
Having Selwood and Dangerfield at the sponsorship announcement reinforced the lofty expectations at the cattery.
“We’ve supported each other during the bad times and the good times – it’s a statement by Ford that they’re to stay for a long, long time,” said Cats chief executive Brian Cook.
“We aim to finish top four on the field (next) year and I can say this sole major sponsorship put us into the top four (off the field).”
The Geelong boss also responded to claims from some disgruntled fans that they have been hit with an extra charge in their membership.
“We can’t give a free kick, we don’t believe, to AFL members who have a Geelong support package,” Cook said.