Cats looking beyond 2013: Scott

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 20 Oktober 2012 | 14.43

Geelong coach Chris Scott has defended the club's decision to sign two 28-year-old players. Picture: George Salpigtidis. Source: Herald Sun

GEELONG has not compromised its long-term future by re-loading with experienced pair Hamish McIntosh and Jared Rivers for a shot at next year's flag.

While many see the recruitment of the two 28-year-olds plus the introduction of Gold Coast midfielder Josh Caddy as a sign the Cats are positioning for another premiership run, coach Chris Scott says it's not a short-term fix.

"We were keen to look at things that would help improve us in the short-term without compromising the long term at all which is what these three things do," he said.

"Caddy is a top-10 pick from two years ago so he's still years away from his best footy but he's going to help short-term and long-term.

"The other two I think help our best team but they also help our depth as well and the ability to transition young players into our team without depending on them completely.

"The only way bringing in old players comprises you long term is if you give up too much for them and we have given up very little. The other thing is if you pay them too much and we're certainly not doing that either."

The Cats gave up theirs second round pick (No.36) to the Kangaroos for McIntosh while Rivers came as an unrestricted free agent from Melbourne on a two-year deal.

Scott said he understood there was an element of risk in the Cats' trade strategy.

"Hamish at his best is a very good player, we know he comes as a 28-year-old who hasn't played much footy in the last couple of years and he's got a significant injury history so there are risks associated with that and if it doesn't work, we are prepared, we can accept the worst case scenario there," he said.

"It's a little bit the same with Jared Rivers, he comes as a free-agent who basically takes up the last spot on our list if you want to look at it that way.

"He is a pretty well credentialed player but he and Hamish understand that we also have got some pretty good players that play in the same position as them."

Importantly, Geelong has retained its first-round pick, No.15, but will have only one other live pick in next month's national draft given the Cats already committed to upgrading rookie Jessie Stringer.

After a shock exit to Fremantle in the first week of the finals this year, Scott is confident that despite the loss of club great Matthew Scarlett the Cats will be a contender again.

"We know it's going to be difficult for us and history suggests that we shouldn't be one of the premiership favourites next year but that's an outsiders point of view," he said.

"We don't think that the players we brought in are the answer. We think they are going to help a little bit but more we think it satisfies multiple objectives."

Rivers described as "ridiculous" any suggestion that he came to Simonds Stadium as Scarlett's replacement.

"To be compared to, or to try and play a similar role, to Matthew Scarlett is just ridiculous," he said.

"He's going to go down as one of the best full-backs of all time. I'm just grateful for the opportunity Geelong has given me.

"It was a massive decision (to leave Melbourne). The last two years have definitely been more challenging mentally than physically.

"I can't wait to have some success at Geelong as I still think they are a real chance of winning a premiership."

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