JAMES Gow’s goal is simple heading into his first full VFL season - become the best footballer he can possibly be.
The 19-year-old was this week named on the Geelong Cats’ VFL list alongside fellow Hampden league products Ben Moloney, Sam Dobson and Sam McLachlan.
For Gow, who reignited his higher-level football ambitions by returning to the North Ballarat Rebels as a top-age player last season, the selection comes after a gut-busting summer training with the Cats.
“In February, it started to really get pretty tough, but that was good,” he said.
“It was a long pre-season and it’s good to be able to get the reward.”
Gow has been able to put his midfield nous to good use at the Cats, where he impressed in practice matches against Collingwood and Essendon, taking on the likes of uncompromising AFL-listed Dons midfielder Heath Hocking.
And now that he has secured his place on the 23-player list, Gow has his sights set on earning the call-up for the Cats’ season-opener against Werribee on April 16.
If he doesn’t receive the call-up, however, Gow will happily slot back into the mix at Koroit, which he has retained as his feeder club despite moving to Geelong where he is studying construction management at Deakin University.
“I’m definitely trying to get to play first round for Geelong, but if not, I’ll be playing for Koroit and hopefully win with Koroit and play well,” he said.
Gow said players who weren’t required for VFL duties were able to go back to their home clubs on Thursday nights to train ahead of their Saturday clashes.
McLachlan and Dobson are both in their second year with the Cats and are among 10 players returning from last year’s team, which made it to the elimination final before a surprise loss to Essendon.
Moloney crossed to Geelong from VFL rival Collingwood, where he played 66 games and booted 35 goals across four seasons.
Prior to that, he played for Werribee.
The Kolora-Noorat and Terang Mortlake export had been the Pies’ VFL vice-captain and won the club best and fairest in 2015.