HAS SILVER LINING: THOMPSON
By Mark Heenan of AAP GEELONG FOOTBALL CLUB coach Mark Thompson believes losing Saturday nights NAB Cup Grand Final would be more beneficial to his players and feels the greatest threat is themselves for a shot at the AFLs ultimate prize.
As the Cats attempt to break a 43-year premiership drought against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, Thompson played down the importance of the game with the club opting to rest several big name players.
Forwards Kent Kingsley (hamstring) and Steve Johnson (ankle) are on track for a round one return, while veteran Peter Riccardi (hamstring), who has played in four losing AFL grand finals for the Cats, will resume via the VFL on the weekend.
"I think it is a bonus if we win, if we lose it's
not the end of the world, to me it's another game," Thompson said.
The Cats won their last day premiership in 1963, and have
since played in five day and four night grand finals.
The 27-year-old will instead play in a VFL practice match
on Saturday, before flying to Adelaide in a support role.
"He (King) is going to play here and then he is going to come over with the team to Adelaide, but he certainly won't be playing in the (Grand Final)," Thompson said.
"It's a bit of a shame that he's not playing with the team... but that's life."
Ottens failed to have an impact during the club's VFL practice match against the Casey Scorpions last weekend, only managing one quarter.
The former Tiger trained with the main group at Skilled Stadium on Wednesday, while versatile forward Henry Playfair is also in the mix for selection.
"I'll watch him at training and if he trained and looks like he was reasonably comfortable - he will probably play," he said.
"He (Ottens) is going to train for about 40 minutes and hopefully he stays out there for that long, that's a good sign, and if he pulls up well tomorrow morning, that's even better," he said.
Meanwhile, Thompson has echoed comments made by AFL captains over what they believe to be a breach of a confidentiality agreement over the league's illicit drugs policy.
In the past week it has been revealed 16 positive tests were recorded under the AFL's out-of-competition testing last year.
"I think that's the problem with the whole thing, you expect confidentiality," he said.
"When you're giving samples of urine to a company, you expect that to be confidential for the rest of that time, they should be able to keep secrets like that."