Cats freshen up in new surroundings

CITY LIGHTS: Geelong players go through the ropes at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Parkville yesterday. Photo: MIKE DUGDALE  
Wednesday, July 31

LAST time Geelong coach Mark Thompson took his troops to Melbourne for a training run it snapped the Cats out of a four-game losing streak and kick-started seven straight wins.

Yesterday he was at it again, taking the Cats up the Melbourne road for a session at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Parkville, two days after losing to Adelaide in a thriller.

The Cats trained centre stage, on the astro turf pitch that is to be used for the 2006 Commonwealth Games hockey matches.

``It's just an opportunity to get away and spend a bit of time together,'' Thompson said.

``We haven't got anything like this in Geelong so we might as well come to Melbourne and use it.''

Reflecting on Sunday's narrow loss to Adelaide that broke the Cats' seven-game winning streak, Thompson said it was not all bad.

``The important thing is you don't lose your momentum and that was the pleasing thing about the loss,'' he said.

``We didn't lose our momentum. We played reasonable footy and were unlucky not to win the game.

``As long as we can capture that again this week and be competitive and do everything we can to win the game it'll be okay losing last week.''

He also said last weekend's loss would ease some of the pressure that was building about the Cats being a finals force and potential top four side.

``It was starting to get a little bit out of hand (and) it has dropped off already,'' he said.

Thompson said this weekend's opponents, the Kangaroos, gained strength from their older players while Geelong's trump was its speed.

``We are a quicker side than we have been in the past, we just love speed and we put as much of it in the side as we can,'' he said.

Which is why Thompson is counting on David Wojcinski returning from an ankle injury, although he didn't train.

``The doctors promised they'd get him up,'' he said.

He said Jarad Rooke, sidelined for the past couple of weeks with a hip injury, was ``a chance'' to play.

Defender Brenton Sanderson's injured left ankle is expected to keep him out. Walking with a noticeable limp and still heavily bandaged, he didn't train. Neither did David Clarke while Ronnie Burns left the track after just 15 minutes.