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'Dangerwood' on light duties as Cats hit track

Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Stewart Crameri. Picture: Al Packer, K Rock Football - AFL,Geelong Cats,Patrick Dangerfield,Joel Selwood,Stewart Crameri,Tom Hawkins,Mitch Duncan,Zac Smith,Gary Ablett
Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Stewart Crameri. Picture: Al Packer, K Rock Football

PATRICK Dangerfield and Joel Selwood remain on light duties at pre-season training as Geelong eases its star duo back into the program following their involvement in the Virgin Australia International Rules Series.

Dangerfield and Selwood officially returned to training with the five-year plus players on Monday and spent the majority of Wednesday's session with a primary focus on conditioning.

Selwood was a late withdrawal from the first IRS Test following a slightly interrupted preparation after a syndesmosis injury suffered against Sydney in round 20 sidelined him for three matches at the latter end of last season.

Mature-age rookie Stewart Crameri, formerly of the Western Bulldogs and Essendon, also joined the pair as they trained off to the side of the main group at the Cats' training base at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds.

Crameri, who managed just two senior games at the Bulldogs in 2017 due to an ongoing hip injury, moved freely and at pace as the trio completed repeat 200m efforts.

Given his recent injury history, the Cats are likely to carefully build his training load before and after Christmas to have the mobile tall forward ready to go by the start of the season.

With the full list back at training, Geelong's more experienced players stood out in the match-play session that went for around 40 minutes during a two-hour session.

Midfielder Mitch Duncan was prominent in his role through the midfield, particularly delivering the ball inside 50 to spearhead Tom Hawkins.

Hawkins presented well to the ball carrier and got used on a number of occasions, despite often having a crowd of players in front of him.

The key forward will need to again carry the bulk of the load in attack this season, with Harry Taylor set to resume his familiar post in defence in 2018.

Ruckman Zac Smith has a focus on continually adding to his ruck craft over the summer and it was evident in the way he was receiving and dishing the footy off to teammates.

Returning superstar Gary Ablett was a beneficiary on a couple of occasions and his ability to run and carry the ball, and find targets inside 50, shapes as pivotal to Geelong's success this season.

In defence, second-year backman Tom Stewart's ability to read the flight of the ball and chop off kicks was a feature.

Stewart, who was a revelation in the backline in his debut season for the Cats, will be aiming to further establish himself in a changing defence following the retirements of Tom Lonergan and Andrew Mackie.

Rhys Stanley appeared to tweak his right shoulder while diving to mark a ball. The ruckman wasn't too fazed at the end of the session, but was sporting an icepack as a precaution.

Lachie Henderson was also training away from the main training squad. But Cory Gregson, who missed the entire 2017 season with a significant foot injury, is back in full training and looked zippy on Wednesday.

Of the young players to impress, nimble forward Brandan Parfitt displayed his balance in traffic and was used as a link between midfield and forward on several occasions.

The club's draftees – Lachie Fogarty, Tim Kelly, Charlie Constable, Gryan Miers – joined in select drills as they get used to the rigours of an AFL pre-season, with coach Chris Scott coming over to chat to the quartet during the match simulation.