HAMPDEN products Jamaine Jones and James Gow are finding their feet at VFL level.
AFL rookie-listed Jones and VFL-listed Gow both produced their best games for the Cats to date in last Saturday’s two-goal win over Footscray, contributing to what was a vital win for the Cats against a team boasting eight premiership players.
Gow backed up his previous effort – where he was named the Cats’ second best in a loss to Essendon – with another mix of attack and a lock-down role.
After keeping ball magnet Craig Bird to two possessions when he was put on him in the final quarter a fortnight ago, the 19-year-old was set on Western Bulldogs’ premiership player Tom Liberatore for a period of Saturday’s match.
“He played as an inside midfielder, spent a little bit of time on Liberatore and did a fantastic job there,” VFL manager Nathan Tweddle said.
“He is a natural ballwinner, so I don’t think, long-term, he’ll be a lock-down player, but I think just for his education, to play on Bird and Liberatore was a good learning experience for him.”
Gow helped the Cats get off to the perfect start to the match with a lovely left foot snap for goal and revelled in his increased confidence, as well as the ever-increasing confidence his new teammates have in him.
He has played four consecutive matches as the VFL Cats’ 23rd player – a position aimed at giving younger players opportunities – since making his debut against Casey Demons on April 29.
With the state league side set to have a bye this weekend, Tweddle said the club had asked the young Koroit star to have the weekend off as it looks to manage his load.
“He’ll play as 23rd (player) again next week and look to keep his spot in our best 22 after that,” Tweddle said. “This week (just gone) was his best game.”
Jones, who was picked up by the AFL Cats in the rookie draft last November, also produced his best effort for the VFL team so far.
The talented Portland export has overcome the ankle and achilles issues that troubled him earlier this season.
“He’s had a bit of an interrupted start to the season, but we’re really happy with his performance on the weekend,” Tweddle said.
“The Bulldogs had eight premiership players in their side from last year. For him to stand up against a quality opposition like he did on the weekend is a good sign, he also showed flashes of what he’s capable of.
“His run and carry with the ball in hand and his ability to get over the back of the opposition was impressive. He kicked a goal and set up a few others.”
Geelong’s next match is against Williamstown on June 4.