Wednesday, April 24
Geelong Advertiser

GEELONG coach Mark Thompson will adopt a rotation policy with his young guns to avoid early season burnout.

Four games into the season and recruits Gary Ablett junior, James Bartel and Jarad Rooke are firing, but waiting in the wings is a couple of other handy prospects that will get their chance soon enough, he said.

``In 2000 we made the finals with more mature bodies (but) this is a younger group and they're more susceptible to have down periods and maybe not last the year out,'' he said.

`` I think it's still a risk with kids.''

Thompson said he would probably make two changes for this Sunday's game against Fremantle with Brenton Sanderson, Mitchell White and young James Kelly all in the mix.

Sanderson was a late withdrawal on Saturday with a slight calf strain while White and Kelly impressed again in the reserves, as did Marc Woolnough.

Thompson said the young group wasn't getting carried away with the extraordinary 20-goal win on Sunday against St Kilda and that it was business as usual at training.

``We're just going to go through the same preparation,'' he said.

``We just went and had a look at a pretty good tape of Fremantle and the dangers and strengths and weaknesses and we'll just go about a normal preparation.

``They're definitely playing a little bit different and playing with a lot of enthusiasm and sides that play with enthusiasm are generally hard to beat.

``They've gone out and got two players or maybe three established players this year in (Troy) Simmons, (Jeff) Farmer and (Trent) Croad.

``We've got Aaron Lord and the rest are junior kids but they've got early draft picks and they're playing them and they're starting to get some rewards from the work they did two or three years ago.

``They've got a new forward structure and you've got to be respectful of that and make sure that the match up are pretty good.''

Thompson praised the return to form of his skipper Ben Graham who kicked two goals.

``I thought it was a terrific game from Ben,'' said Thompson.

``He didn't get a lot of good kicks, he made a lot out of some pretty poor delivery and by the end of the game he started to mark them.

``He (also) won a lot of balls on the ground, which is exactly what you need to do because they're not always going to be good kicks coming in.''

Thompson said two wins was just where he expected to be four games into the season.

``I'll take two and two,'' he said.

``I thought Adelaide was a pretty hard game over there and the first game against the Bombers ... well, I wouldn't have thought they'd play that well.''