Cats want nothing short of flag

Friday, June 14

IT might only be the half-way mark of the VFL season, but Geelong coach Ron Watt is aiming for nothing short of a premiership in 2002.

He said a VFL flag was a realistic aim if the team's first-half form is maintained, with the Cats boasting performers right across the field so far this year.

Geelong is sitting in second spot on the ladder with eight wins from its 10 games, and Watt was confident of carrying that form into the second half of the season to ensure a finals berth.

``On a team level we want to get to the finals and that will take care of itself,'' he said.

``Everyone wants to win a premiership and sometimes it's a realistic goal, and sometimes it's not. I think we are in with a realistic chance of having a real crack at it this year.''

Watt credited Geelong's early-season form to having a team of consistent contributors. He said from the Cats' experienced AFL campaigners through to those not on the senior list, his players had put in top efforts week in, week out.

``We've only lost two games, to teams who are in the top four, by reasonably small margins,'' he said.

``Our position on the ladder indicates the form of the players in the team.

``We've had some really good service from experienced players like Tim McGrath and David Mensch, and then there's blokes like Marc Woolnough who have been really solid and steady for us.

``James Kelly played a few of the best games you would want to see after he was dropped to VFL level which speaks volumes for him.

``There's Steve Johnson who gets better and better, Matthew McCarthy who has been consistent in front of goals, Danny O'Brien who continues to do well up forward, Andrew Carrazzo has started to come into his own and Paul Chambers and Adam Chatfield have found a bit too.''

Geelong should benefit from a favourable run home, which sees it playing seven of its remaining 10 games against teams currently sitting in the bottom nine spots on the ladder.

And if it can remain relatively injury-free, Watt warned the team would be a real premiership chance.

``You don't like to get too far ahead of yourselves, our priority is to make sure we get players playing well week in, week out,'' he said.

``But if you can keep that happening, it translates into winning games.

``We are really keen on making the finals and having a really good crack at it.''