CATS APPEAL BARTEL BAN
THURSDAY night looms as one of the most important days in Geelongs season to date, when the club appeals James Bartels three-match suspension.
The twenty year old midfielder was outed for two matches for rough play during the first quarter of last Saturdays match against Fremantles Troy Longmuir, and one game for striking Dylan Smith, in addition to a $2000 fine.
After meeting with club officials this morning, coach Mark Thompson says the Cats were never in any doubt that further action would be taken. We are going to appeal both the two sentences, Thompson said at Geelong training today at Skilled Stadium. We obviously must think there is good grounds. We have got a right to appeal and we are going to use access to that right. I think there was a little bit in there to warrant some sort of action, he said.
The Cats know a replacement will be hard to find, with Bartel in career best form, after accumulating more than sixty possessions, in his past two games. Bartel has been flying, he is a very fair player. It is big blow and he has been in terrific form.
On the provision Bartels case is not overturned by the AFL tribunal, David Wojcinski is expected to be promoted to a midfield role, after missing last weekends game against the Dockers with a groin injury. Wojcinski will come into the side, Thompson said.
Another obstacle facing Geelong this weekend, when it takes on Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, is its recent horror interstate record.
The Cats have not won a game on the road, since beating Sydney at the SCG in mid-2002 and Thompson realises the club needs to change its pre-match preparation, if it is to play an interstate final. Our fitness conditioning guys spent a bit of time researching it (poor interstate record), we are doing a few things different this time, we are not going to train on the Friday, when we normally have a session, we are just going to travel because of the stress,
Despite moving into forth spot on the AFL ladder, Geelong has lost six out of its last seven games against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium, by an average margin of more than thirty points.
While three out of four Geelongs losses interstate this season have been decided by less than a goal, Thompson will accept nothing less than a win. Thats the last thing we sort of havent accomplished this year, we have overcame a lot of things and challenges, one thing we still havent done is win interstate, from that point of view its an important game.
NEWSFLASH: BARTEL CLEARED OF STRIKING CHARGE, BUT ROUGH PLAY CHARGE SUSTAINED, TO MISS TWO MATCHES. AND RETURN IN FIRST WEEK OF FINALS
SUSPENDED JAMES BARTEL, PICTURED WITH GARY ABLETT