Cat let out of the bag

Cameron Ling, Steve Johnson and Kent Kingsley celebrate after the Cats win over Collingwood.  
Tuesday, July 16

I DON'T like to blow my own trumpet, but I did tip Geelong in the eight at the start of the year when most people had them in the cellar.

Everybody judged them on the last half a dozen games last year, especially the humiliating loss to Carlton. But I knew the players would carry that memory with them right through the summer.

The core of those players is still there and they've added some good young fellas to it including Kelly, Johnson, Bartel and Ablett.

The thing Geelong has going for it at the moment is that no one has been able to work out its style yet and the Cats have been able to avoid the publicity.

The only problem now is you've got Malthouse saying the Cats are the best side the Magpies have played this year.

He's turning the heat up because he realises now that Geelong could be a contender for finals action.

The next couple of weeks will tell us whether that's true or not.

Essendon was humiliated by West Coast and will have come back stinging. And believe me there's no love lost between coaches Kevin Sheedy and Mark Thompson.

They are friendly now, but a couple of years ago relations were more than Arctic.

Thompson would dearly love to beat Essendon and Sheedy and would be asking his players for an extra effort.

It's too early to call Geelong a flag contender but it looked very accomplished at the MCG, where the Grand Final is played, and they possibly should have won by a lot more.

They have strength on most lines and the pleasing thing about it is that they have confidence on most lines. They do the team things and if you look through the side you really couldn't find a player who didn't contribute.