Josh Caddy has impressed his new club
The more I'm out there training and playing with these guys the better
JOSH Caddy has only been at Geelong for two months, but he has already emerged as a leader of the future.
The 20-year-old, who switched from Gold Coast to the Cats during the trade period, was among the outstanding performers during the club's pre-season camp at Falls Creek.
After having shoulder surgery in September, Caddy was on a slightly restricted training program in the lead-up to the Christmas break.
But he will start contact work in early January, and Geelong's coaches are already itching to see him in action in next year's NAB Cup.
"He's been fantastic," development coach Nigel Lappin said.
"We can't fault him. He's a really good runner, he works really hard, and he's another strong body for us in the midfield.
"He can take some pressure off the Bartels and Coreys and Selwoods and Kellys, so we're really excited to have him.
"We've got a group of other young midfielders that will fit in nicely around him.
"We've got Mitch Duncan, Allen Christensen and we get Josh Cowan back this year, so we're building quite a good midfield for the future, and it's a pretty exciting time."
Caddy is hoping to get plenty of game-time when Geelong begins its NAB Cup campaign by taking on West Coast and Fremantle in pool games at Patersons Stadium on February 16.
"My goal is to play every game of footy I can," he said.
"I'm sure there's no footballers that don't want to be playing, so I want to play every game I can, train every day, and get to know my teammates.
"The more I'm out there training and playing with these guys the better."
Another positive for Geelong is the fitness of Travis Varcoe.
The 24-year-old two-time premiership player was sidelined by a foot stress fracture for most of the 2012 season.
However, he looked very impressive during the camp at Falls Creek, with his work on the track just as spectacular as his new mohawk haircut.
"Trav's only joined in training in the last week, but he has done a hell of a lot of work back at the club on the de-loader," Lappin said.
"He's a really exciting player, Travis, and we missed him last year. He would have made a massive impact for us in the finals if we had him.
"But fingers crossed that his body stays sound, because he's had a few foot issues over his time … and he's just a quality person, so we'd love to have him back."
Adam McNicol covers Geelong news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter at @AFL_AdamMcNicol