There has been a lot of noise out of Geelong that there will be a change in game style for the 2019 season, the Cats finished their 2018 campaign with an Elimination Final loss to Melbourne in September.
Chris Scott was clearly disappointed with the early exit in September, the Cats have an averaging losing margin of 42.3pts in elimination games from their last 3 Finals campaigns.
“There hasn’t been a year in my time at Geelong where we haven’t shifted some aspects of the way we play. And I can guarantee we’ll be a little bit different next year” Geelong Coach Chris Scott on Fox Footy shortly after the Elimination loss to Melbourne.
Geelong Assistant Coach Nigel Lappin reiterated the change in game style for the upcoming season, the Cats are looking to become a forward half pressure team.
“The best teams play the game in their front half and they defend really well when they get entries, both defence and attack are really closely linked.”
“We’re certainly a very good contested team. When we can make the game a contest we tend to play really well.”
“We weren’t in the top five in the competition at forward half turnovers and we need to become a team that can certainly be that way” Nigel Lappin.
Geelong averaged 66.9 Tackles per game in 2018 which was well short of their 2017 season when the averaged 76.0 Tackles (Comparison: -9.1), the Cats averaged +8.2 in Contested Possession Differential for the 2018 H&A season from winning games as opposed to a +2.3 Contested Possession Differential from losing games.
Joel Selwood was the only player at Geelong to average 25.0 Disposals or more & 5.0 Tackles or more in 2018, Sam Menegola & Patrick Dangerfield were the only 2 players to kick 20 Goals or more & average 4.0 Tackles or more last season (Other Geelong players to kick 20 Goals or more/Tackles: Tom Hawkins 60/1.8, Dan Menzel 27/1.1 & Tim Kelly 24/3.5).
Geelong averaged 382.7 Disposals in the 2018 H&A season (-1.7 Ave Disposals compared to the 2017 H&A season).