INCONSISTENCY is the bane of football teams and their followers, whether it be across four quarters or a season.
But you don’t need to tell Geelong it has been among the most inconsistent teams this year, having gone from underdog premier over Collingwood in the 2011 grand final to clinging to a spot on the edge of the eight midway through 2012.
“Obviously we’d like to be higher on the ladder,” forward Tom Hawkins said during the team’s south-west school visits yesterday.
“But we’re still in a really good position. We’re keen to play finals.
“We’re just not playing as consistently as we’d like. We just need to fix a few things and once we do that we can be a real threat.”
Among those “few things” is Geelong’s game starts, Hawkins said, as evidenced by the Sydney fixture on Friday night.
“We aren’t starting games well,” Hawkins said. “Against Sydney, that was really disappointing. We gave them about 40 points (advantage) at one stage and that’s a long way to get back from.
“But we’re a really fit side and we back ourselves to run out games. But we’ve got to be better from the start.”
Hawkins said winning the contested ball was also a factor. Captain Joel Selwood agreed the Sydney game “didn’t work out how we wanted” but said the Cats needed to move on quickly.
“There are a few things we need to fix up. They’re not big things, but when we fix them there will be a big change,” he said.
While the speculation going into the 2011 season that the Cats were too old didn’t ring true when they walked away with the premiership cup, there is a changing of the guard under way at Geelong. The retirements of Cameron Ling, Darren Milburn, Cameron Mooney and Brad Ottens are part of that shift.
It means for rookies like Jackson Sheringham, it’s an exciting time to be at Geelong.
“It is a hard team to break into,” he admitted.
“But it’s a good place to learn and to develop your game. Everyone at the club is so supportive.”