Chris Scott addresses his players during Geelong's clash against Richmond in round 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

THEY call it 'Die Winterpause' in Germany, where the Bundesliga shuts up shop in the middle of the football season during the coldest part of the year, before resetting for the second half of the campaign. And it is a concept Geelong coach Chris Scott is supportive of. 

Ligue 1 in France and Italy's Serie A have also incorporated a winter break into their fixture traditionally, but never for a month – or even up to six weeks – like in Germany, where January is written off. 

Scott has regularly thought outside the box across his 14 seasons at the helm of the Cats and was critical early in the season on the back of the introduction of Opening Round creating greater fixture inequality with an extra bye. 

After starting its season against St Kilda in round one, Geelong didn't have its break until after the trip to Sydney in round 13. By that stage, Sydney, Greater Western Sydney and Brisbane had all had two breaks. 

The two-time premiership coach said a complete mid-season AFL shutdown for a week or two would provide the industry with a proper reset before the business end of the season. 

"There has been a lot of discussion around how the competition could evolve. I think one of those things that is generally on the table is an industry shutdown throughout the middle of the year," Scott on Thursday.


"The best holidays are when everyone is away. When footy is still going, you can't be completely switched off from it all. 

"I love the idea of talking about these things. I think everyone who has looked at it logically would come to the conclusion that this year has been a bit of a mess, so it will be different next year, there is no doubt about that. 

"I think in principle, I am supportive of it [industry shutdown]. The reason the Christmas break is the best is because everyone is off. You can take a break in November but it's not the same because stuff is still going on."

Scott said out-of-contract star Tyson Stengle doesn't owe Geelong for helping reignite his AFL career, after the Cats signed him as a delisted free agent in 2021, with the club wanting what's best for the small forward, in terms of the environment for his career and his ability to set himself up financially long-term.

"The part that I will stress is, Tyson's done the work. We gave him the opportunity but that was the opportunity to walk in the door," Scott said.

Tyson Stengle kicks for goal during the R13 match between Geelong and Sydney at the SCG on June 9, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"I would like to think that we have helped him, but we're not the sort of club that says, 'Hey mate, you owe us because we gave you the opportunity'. 

"We want the best for Tyson, not just while he's playing footy, but also post-footy as well. Part of that is him making sure he sets himself up financially outside of footy. 

"I can't see a time where we'll leverage what we've done for a player, we're not that sort of club, not those sort of people."

Geelong will be without young midfielder Tanner Bruhn for not only Friday night's blockbuster against Carlton at the MCG, but for at least a month after the 22-year-old broke his wrist at training on Tuesday

"It was a real shock the severity of the injury because it seemed innocuous in training. He actually trained through and then had a precautionary scan afterwards. It revealed the scaphoid fracture," Scott said.

Tanner Bruhn in action during Geelong's clash against Carlton in round seven, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"It is one of those things where in the short-term, it feels really, really disappointing, but hopefully in the longer term this is one of the few situations at the moment, where if it works out OK for us through the qualification period, it will allow him to come back fresh at the back end of the season."

Geelong captain Patrick Dangerfield is ready to return for the first time since round seven after fully recovering from his second hamstring strain of 2024, while Ollie Henry and Zach Tuohy are also set to face the Blues in front of a crowd forecast to reach 75,000. 

West Australian wingman/half-back Lawson Humphries is expected to be included in the 26-man squad for the first time after a strong burst of VFL form, with the 2023 pick No.63 on the cusp of a debut.