It hasn’t been easy for Scott Selwood to watch the rest of Geelong’s heralded off-season recruits star for their new AFL club, but the former West Coast midfielder is ready to grasp his opportunity.
Joining the club with Patrick Dangerfield, Zac Smith and Lachie Henderson amid much fanfare, Selwood has spent all season recovering from ankle surgery.
The 26-year-old will finally play his first game for the Cats on Sunday against Essendon and assistant coach James Rahilly says he still has plenty of time to audition for a part in the club’s finals campaign.
“He’s a pretty popular boy around the club, given the short time he’s been here, and the boys were rapt for him – he could be a very important player for us,” Rahilly told AAP.
“No doubt, he had a bit of a tough start at his new club but he’s a professional lad, so he’s looked after himself and been pretty patient. He hasn’t missed a beat with his rehab. Even though I’m sure it’s been frustrating at times, he’s been a real pro.
“Obviously Zac, Lachie and Paddy have all had good years but it’s not over (for Scott) yet – we’ve got a few weeks to go so hopefully he can come in an play a vital role for us.”
Selwood comes into the team with Josh Caddy and Henderson for the Etihad Stadium clash.
Former Cats James Kelly and Mitch Brown were brought in to face their old side along with Sam Grimley and Jackson Merrett.
Geelong will look to cement their grip on a top-four spot after seeing off a gallant Western Bulldogs last week, while the end of the season can’t come quickly enough for the Bombers, who were thumped by Adelaide.
Going into round 20, Chris Scott’s side were clinging to fourth spot, just 0.1 per cent ahead of Adelaide, but Rahilly says the Cats aren’t going into the clash focusing on building their percentage against the last-placed Dons.
“It doesn’t feel like (the focus) has been any different,” he said.
“Our focus has to stay the same and that’s about things like defending well, being good in the contest and around the footy. So, if we do that, the rest tends to take care of itself.”