APPROACHING its first preliminary final since 1995, Geelong midfielder Cameron Ling says Geelong will not be overawed about the prospect of facing the all- conquering Brisbane Lions this weekend at the MCG.
After finally breaking a ten-game losing streak against the Lions, with a twenty-seven point victory on a wet and soggy Skilled Stadium in Round 13, Ling believes the playing group knows it is capable of playing off in a Grand Final.
It is very important as far as confidence, probably last year more so, we had played well against them (Brisbane), but we could not beat them, the 23-year-old said at Geelongs indoor training session at Skilled Stadium today.
This year we played well against them and we beat them, so we now know we can do it, theyre a very good team but the boys have got the confidence that if we play to our best, were able to beat them, he says.
While much has been spoken about the young Cats ability to excel in the inclement conditions in the pre-match build up, the Geelong vice-captain is not fazed by the prospect of playing the Lions on a wet MCG.
It is looking that way (with regards weather outlook), weve obviously had a fair bit of practice in the wet this year, but what ever the conditions are, we will be confident either way,
Before conceding 5-last quarter goals in last Saturdays night semi-final clash against Essendon, Geelong certainly demonstrated signs why they can be a finals force, with the likes of its young brigade Ablett and Bartel rising to the occasion.
In his second game back from suspension, Bartel was clearly outstanding in his sides win, with 33 possessions, while Ablett will be hoping for more of the same against the Lions defenders, after his 23 disposals against the Bombers.
Ling, who polled the most votes in last years Brownlow medal for the Cats, and finished 2nd in the clubs Best and Fairest, is likely to start on Voss, Black or possibly Nigel Lappin.
The 23-year-old is by no means afraid of the challenge of lining up on a big-name player, after collecting 25 possessions when the sides last met.
Theyre quality players you play against quality players every week, I dont approach too many games differently, I know what I have got to do I look at them during the week (and assess) their strengths and weaknesses,
You cant ever get overawed by who you are playing against because then they have basically got you beaten mentally, before you even step foot on the ground Ling said.