THE game may have already been beyond reach for Geelong’s VFL side, but Koroit product James Gow had a small win on Saturday.
The Saints youngster, playing his third consecutive game as 23rd man for the Cats, was set onto Essendon’s best-on-ground Craig Bird at three-quarter-time to try to quell the star’s influence.
The move proved a success, with Bird, who had 35 disposals to that point, restricted to just two in the final term at Windy Hill, and earned Gow a spot in Geelong’s best.
The role was new territory for Gow, who sacrificed his own game, going without a touch in the final term.
“At Koroit, I suppose you haven’t really got that full lock-down role,” he said.
“I didn’t really focus on getting the ball myself. I think it’s a lot easier to shut down your opponent when you’re not worrying about (that).
“(But) if I did it again, I’d try to get the ball a bit more.”
Gow has held down his spot since making his debut against Casey Demons and can play two more games as 23rd player before he no longer qualifies for the rule.
“Then I have to be in the best 22 to play,” he said.
Gow has been playing alongside fellow Hampden product Jamaine Jones, who was picked up by the Cats’ AFL side in the rookie draft last year.
Jones has played four of a possible five games, getting on the scoreboard against Werribee, Port Melbourne and Casey Demons, but went without a goal on the weekend as the VFL Cats struggled against Essendon, going down 8.7 (55) to 17.14 (116).