Two-time North Melbourne premiership player David King believes Geelong has made the decision to trust its younger midfielders.
The Cats claimed a narrow win over Collingwood last night at the MCG, changing up their midfield rotations significantly from last season.
King praised Geelong for making the call.
“Let’s go back six months, how the idea was presented where we move Gary Ablett forward and Joel Selwood out of the midfield, two Hall of Famers in our competition, let’s just get them away from where the game is won and lost and find other spots for them,” King told SEN’s Crunch Time.
“Trust guys like Charlie Constable, Brandan Parfitt, Tim Kelly and those younger guys to take control of this midfield. That would’ve been an incredibly tough call to say yep, that’s where we’re going.
“Last night, whilst it’s only 120 minutes, it’s not quite vindication, but I’ll tell you what it does, is it makes them dangerous all over the ground now.
“What’s changed is Joel Selwood’s only going to six or seven centre bounces, whilst the wings are still important and the flanks, they’re not as significant with the rule changes.
“So he only went in for six centre bounces last night, now last year that would’ve been closer to 20 so it’s a big shift.
“Gary Ablett went in for one centre bounce last night.
“When you look at how many times Constable and Parfitt and these guys went in there, you say okay, there’s a shift.”
King added Geelong’s forward line was “dysfunctional” last night and only started to look potent when Patrick Dangerfield was inside.
“Patrick Dangerfield is still doing the same amount of work at centre bounces and then getting forward, so his role hasn’t changed. Mitch Duncan’s role is the same, Tim Kelly’s too,” King said.
“They need Dangerfield down forward and I know he’s done it again last night, 27 touches, half a dozen clearances, he’s just a powerhouse there’s no doubt about that.
“I actually still think they need him in the forward 50 more than the middle of the ground.”