GEELONG VFL assistant coach Dom Gleeson says that impressive pre-seasons from fellow south-west football exports Matt Sully and Heath Brown led to the pair being selected on the Cats’ list.
Nanjing Night Net

Former Koroit footballer Gleeson said South Warrnambool premiership player Sully had been solid in several practice matches for the Cats while Brown, from Portland, had significantly improved his fitness over summer.

Gleeson, a playing assistant coach for Geelong, heard plenty of positives about Sully when the 19-year-old was invited to train with the VFL club.

“He has really impressed with his height, physical strength and speed,” Gleeson said.

“We couldn’t have asked any more of him through pre-season.

“He’s been playing really well and been playing outside his role.

“He’s been playing centre half-back, full-back and even in the ruck.”

The assistant said the versatile Sully was expected to feature in the backline during the regular season.

“Geelong will help him and make him into a better player,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to seeing where he’s at mid-season.”

Brown had a standout season in Western Border league last year as a ruckman for Portland before he broke his leg in the second semi-final.

“I think even he’d admit that he was a little bit out of shape at the start (of pre-season), but he’s got himself as fit as he could,” Gleeson said.

“He’s really performed well and he’ll be one of our key forwards.

“As someone who comes from the Western District, it’s good to see young ones from there having a go.”

Gleeson said South Warrnambool’s Joe Dalton had also impressed while training with Geelong but, due to work commitments, would stay in Warrnambool.

The Cats’ VFL side, steered by coach Matthew Knights, has another south-west connection, with retired Geelong premiership player Max Rooke, from Casterton, a development coach.

“We haven’t really sat down and discussed our goals yet,” Gleeson said.

“We’re just aiming to find out who can play where and we’ll also have the AFL players coming down.

“It will just be about getting the mix right. That’s the main focus but hopefully we can create a winning atmosphere.”

The Cats play Collingwood in a practice match on Saturday, which will be a curtain-raiser to the Geelong-Western Bulldogs clash at Kardinia Park.

Geelong opens its VFL season against Collingwood on March 31. Later this year it will play its round 14 match against Coburg at Reid Oval on July 1.

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