The four players who will make or break Geelong in 2022

The Geelong Cats finished third in the table in 2021, with 16 wins and six losses, just behind Port Adelaide Power, who had a worse percentage but an extra win to their name.

In the qualifying final, Port Adelaide doubled Geelong’s score, but the Cats took advantage of the double chance by beating Greater Western Sydney in the semi-finals.

Unfortunately, they were heavily beaten by future Premiers, the Melbourne Demons, in the preliminary final. Since the loser of the other preliminary final was the Power, the Cats are fourth for the purposes of this exercise.

The Cats clearly believe they are capable of winning the premiership as they have the oldest roster in the AFL as of 2022, with an average age of 25.7. During the offseason, they signed 31-year-old rucksman Jonathon Ceglar and small forward Tyson Stengle.

(Photo by Albert Perez/AFL Media/via Getty Images)

It’s a big season for the Cats as they need to be in the running for premiership contention to justify their roster management strategy.

Jack Henry will be integral if Geelong is to be in contention. It is remarkable that he finished second best and fairest in the squad in 2021 but missed out on the 40-man AFL All Australian squad. He averaged the second-most interceptions of any Cats player, averaging 5.96 per game.

Henry appeared in 24 of 25 games and had the highest average kill efficiency percentage on the team, averaging 86.00%. He does not waste a lot of goods.

Henry usually starts in the back pocket and Mark Blicavs usually starts at fullback – or centre-half when Tom Stewart is injured. Given that Stewart is back from injury and Henry is reliable, Blicavs will be allowed to use his versatility, like he did last year when he averaged 11.79 hits per game. .

Jeremy Cameron needs to improve his consistency in 2022. In eight games last year, he scored two goals or less, and in four of them the Cats lost. Two of these losses were due to Demons.

In particular, Cameron needs to improve on his contested mark, as he plays at center forward and has averaged the tenth most contested mark per game of any Cats player, averaging 0.73 per game.

Cameron may have scored the most goals per game of any Cats player, averaging 2.60 per game in the 15 games he has played in 2021, but he needs to improve.

He scored three or more goals in just seven matches, but only three of them were against the top eight. He is due to rise in 2022 as the Cats paid a heavy price to bring him to the soccer club.

Jeremy Cameron of the Cats (R) celebrates a goal with Tom Hawkins

(Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Tom Stewart played a central role in the Geelong back six in 2021. He was rewarded for his form by being selected in the back pocket of the final All Australian squad. He managed to win the best and fairest Geelong despite only appearing in 20 of the 25 games they played. That’s how important he is to the team.

Stewart’s impact on the Cats as a team can be backed up with statistics. He averaged the most interceptions on average of any Cats player in 2021. He also averaged the most yards gained per game of any player on the team.

Stewart used the ball well, with an average elimination efficiency of 84.79%. That’s despite averaging an impressive 24 eliminations per game in 2021 – he not only had plenty of the ball, but he was constructive with it.

The Cats have only won two of the five games Stewart has missed through injury in 2021. They need to find a way to be less dependent on him if they are to taste ultimate success in 2022.

Sam Menegola’s influence on the team is underestimated. He has appeared in 23 of 25 games in 2021; the Cats won the two games he missed by a combined one goal.

Geelong have won seven of the nine games in which Menegola has scored on the scoreboard with at least one goal. He averaged the fifth-most yards gained of any Cats player, averaging 387.17 per game. He averages 4.78 scoring appearances per game, which he can improve on.

Menegola isn’t a household name compared to Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield, but he just might be. Despite playing on the wing, he was still able to average an impressive 8.04 contested possessions per game in 2021. He is a game-changer and will be an integral part of Geelong’s premiership chances in 2022.

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