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Cat Caddy flags midfield glory with new group

Shaw delay, Crows confident and more Thursday's Footy Feed with Matt Thompson
Josh Caddy of the Cats in action during the 2014 AFL Round 15 match between the Geelong Cats and the Essendon Bombers at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on June 27, 2014. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
Josh Caddy says the Cats are building a midfield to rival the glory days
GEELONG is developing a midfield nucleus to rival that of its premiership winning teams, young on-baller Josh Caddy says.

The Cats were renowned for their midfield depth during the successful 2007, 2009 and 2011 flag-winning era.

Midfielders Gary Ablett, Jimmy Bartel, Joel Selwood, James Kelly, Joel Corey and Cameron Ling were all starring when the Cats were up and firing.

With many of those players having departed, and some of the existing experienced players taking a back seat, a new wave of young midfielders is now striving to replicate the deeds of the club's past heroes.

Caddy, Selwood, George Horlin-Smith, Mitch Duncan, Allen Christensen and Cameron Guthrie are the young core charged with the responsibility of leading the team forward.

"It's just about playing with these boys, week-in week-out so that we can get a really good midfield group getting used to each other," Caddy said at Simonds Stadium on Thursday.

"When Geelong was at its best, through those glory days, there was a group (of players) that had been together for a long time.

"The more we play together, it's going to help us individually as well."

On the eve of his 50th game against Melbourne on Saturday, and now two years into his career at Geelong after two seasons at Gold Coast, Caddy is finding his niche in the team.

A broken foot sustained at a training session in April threatened to derail Caddy's 2014 campaign, but he has returned strongly over the past three weeks to show his importance to the side.

Having started as the sub against Gold Coast and Essendon, Caddy had his best return to date when he gathered 18 disposals in his instinctive inside midfield role against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.

For Caddy, it's about finding the right level of consistency.

"I feel like I do belong, but I don't feel like I've reached my potential, that's for sure," Caddy said.

"There's some guys who come in and dominate from day one, but with a lot of guys it takes 50 games or so to really hit their straps
"Hopefully all the hard work I've done over the last four seasons is going to start paying off."

The Cats' clearance work has been a point of concern for much of this season.

Geelong is ranked 17th in the competition in that area, slightly ahead of last-placed Melbourne, Saturday's opponent.

Caddy says it's an area the Cats have addressed this week.

"We've been very reactive to what they're doing. If we can concentrate on what we're going to do then I think we're going to be better off," he said.