AAP AFL

Scott bullish about Cats’ AFL flag hopes

By AAP Newswire

Geelong coach Chris Scott is growing increasingly "bullish" about what his Cats can achieve this season ahead of Friday night's clash with AFL ladder-leaders Port Adelaide.

With most of Geelong's stars coming towards the end of their careers and ace midfielder Tim Kelly off-season's departure, the Cats were widely brushed off as serious 2020 premiership contenders.

That was until Monday night's 59-point demolition of an in-form St Kilda that took them to third on the ladder.

If the Cats can dismantle the Power's game-style in a similar way at Metricon Stadium, the competition will be on notice.

"We played the Eagles a couple of weeks ago, and the swing of Tim Kelly in your side, and then in the opposition side (is immense)," Scott said on Thursday.

"I just consider us a new team (this year) with great possibilities. I'm more bullish about the possibilities now than I was at the start of the season."

Ruck-forward Esava Ratugolea will return to take on Port after being rested against the Saints.

The 22-year-old's inclusion will allow Mark Blicavs to be free from backing up Rhys Stanley in the ruck and instead focus on stopping Port's raging bull Charlie Dixon.

The key forward's scintillating form has been a huge reason why the Power have won nine of 11 games to start the season.

Dixon will be joined up forward by Steven Motlop, with the former Cat to return against his old team after missing four matches with an ankle injury.

Port coach Ken Hinkley believes the experienced Cats presents his team with one of their biggest tests yet.

"They are going to try and take some stuff off us that we hope we can put out there that they can't stop," he said.

"They seem to have this remarkable ability to slow everyone down and do it at their pace a bit. We have got to try and challenge that."