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Cat keen to stay despite finals dumping

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Daniel Menzel has played 17 games for the Cats this season - AFL,Geelong Cats,Daniel Menzel
Daniel Menzel has played 17 games for the Cats this season
He knows he's got to work on the defensive side of his game, and he's prepared to do that
Adam Ramanauskas on Daniel Menzel

GEELONG forward Daniel Menzel was surprised to be dropped for Friday night's qualifying final against Richmond, but the out-of-contract Cat is keen to remain at the club, says his manager.

Menzel is second in the Cats' goalkicking this year with 38 goals from 17 games, but Champion Data statistics show him to be the competition's worst pressure player among general forwards.

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With the Cats yet to offer Menzel a new contract, speculation is mounting the South Australian won't be at Simonds Stadium in 2018, with Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs rumoured destinations.

Geelong managed Menzel in round six, and he missed four matches across two stints late in the year because of knee soreness.

Menzel's manager Adam Ramanauskas said on Friday the 25-year-old is well aware of his defensive deficiencies and wanted to remain at the Cats.

"I think any person is surprised when they're dropped when you've kicked 38 goals in 17 games this season," Ramanauskas told radio station RSN.

"He's disappointed with being omitted from the side, but at the same time there's still a lot of football to be played in September.

"He's got a great attitude after coming back from four knee reconstructions, so he wants to be (at Geelong).

"He knows he's got to work on the defensive side of his game, and he's prepared to do that.

"He's got to take it on the chin because there are teammates to support, and he needs support from them."

Joining Menzel as an omission is young tall forward Wylie Buzza, with captain Joel Selwood, who will return just 35 days after ankle surgery, and 19-year-old defender Zach Guthrie their replacements.

With Buzza dropped, the Cats will turn to Tom Hawkins and Harry Taylor up forward. Taylor kicked four goals in a best-on-ground performance opposed to Alex Rance in the round 21 meeting between the sides, which Geelong won by 24 points.