Cats take gamble on intense training block

·2-min read

Geelong coach Chris Scott says his decision to roll the dice with an intense mid-season training block is worth the risk, even if his AFL side bomb out to finish ninth.

The Cats have a trend of attempting to find the ideal formula to have their players firing at the tail-end of the season.

Geelong have ramped that up even more this year, with Scott increasing the training loads during the bye week.

The heavy sessions looked to have taken a bit of a toll on the Cats, who were far from their best in Saturday's 18-point win over last-placed West Coast.

But if all goes to plan, the short-term pain could result in glorious results come finals time.

Since winning the grand final in 2011, Geelong have lost five of their six preliminary finals, and they are desperate to go all the way this year.

"It's what we do during the middle period of the year. We double down - even more than we might have done in previous years," Scott said of the big training block.

"We might cost ourselves a little short term but we set up our program to be at our best when it counts.

"If we finish ninth because we try to prime ourselves to be at our best later in the year, then we'll live with that.

"We haven't been able to execute that over the last few years anyway. That's a reason to do it better."

Scott has taken that same approach with Patrick Dangerfield, who was ready to play against West Coast after recovering from a calf injury, but was instead given an extra week of training to build on his conditioning.

Dangerfield will be unleashed in Saturday's blockbuster against Richmond at the MCG.

"The plan was to make sure we got enough work in him," Scott said.

"He had an injury he was rehabbing, but the issue was more making sure we managed him in a way that was congruent with the overall plan.

"So if we have to take a little heat short term and not have our preferred guys - to give them a chance to be humming towards the end of the year - we'll do that, with no guarantee.

"We can look back and say, 'That was the ambition and we mucked it up'."

Geelong (9-4) moved up to fourth with the 12.9 (81) to 9.9 (63) win over West Coast.

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