Star recruit Jeremy Cameron debuted for Geelong at GMHBA Stadium in a 97-point victory against the West Coast Eagles.
Cameron, who played 171 games at the Giants before his high profile trade to the Cats, was expected to bolster their forward line this year.
However, he was unable to offer his skill set to the team in the first few rounds.
Returning from a hamstring issue, Cameron was on managed minutes, but still had a noticeable impact on the game.
The Coleman Medallist slotted into his new club’s forward line easily, kicking three goals. He also had nine possessions, six of which were contested, six marks and six score involvements.
Geelong coach Chris Scott was pleased with his prized recruit’s performance on limited game time, glad that Cameron made it through unscathed.
“It was good to see Jeremy have a good day in his first game in the hoops,” Scott said post game.
“We went in with a plan about his workload which is always a challenge against a team we rate highly, so that was gonna be difficult to manage.
“The priority was, we didn’t put him in harm’s way. We were really confident we weren’t doing that, but we wanted to exaggerate that cautiousness by managing his game time a little bit.
“So that was probably his biggest positive really, outside the way he played.
“If we won the game and he didn’t get a touch, but got through, I would’ve been happy.
“There was a bit of play there where he ended up marking the ball in the goal square where he was able to bring the ball to ground with one hand and follow up. If you wanted to sum up why we were excited about him coming to our club, that bit of play was just about it.”
Geelong’s tall forward duo of Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron are undoubtedly a threatening prospect.
Between the pair, they have over 455 games, 1000 goals, two Coleman Medals and five All-Australian blazers.
Their two different playing styles are complementary and enable each other to play their natural game. This partnership is one Scott is excited to see play out in the future.
“We’ve seen snippets of it at training, not as much as we would like obviously, but it’s really on the weekend that it counts,” Scott said.
“We had a level of confidence that they would complement each other well. They’re different players.
“The challenge of integrating them was to make sure they formed a good combination without blunting either’s individual strengths. I think we saw little bits of how that might work for us this year.
“Hawkins is a really powerful one on one player. [He’s] hard to stop when he gets in front, hard to stop when he’s coming into the ball.
“Cameron’s good at those things too, but he tends to be, at least with his career at GWS, a more up the ground player, uses his agility and really jumps at his marks where I think the days of Hawk [Hawkins] flying to try and win the car, are probably over, he’s more the body on body player.”
The pair made their mark on Saturday, finishing with six goals, 10 marks and 17 score involvements.
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The Geelong coach emphasised the necessity of cohesion within Geelong’s forward line, satisfied with its unity this week.
“We’ve always thought cohesion is important for our football team. Particularly in our forward half, we haven’t had it this year,” Scott said.
“It was a little closer this week and I thought there’s still a bit to work on.
“I thought it looked more cohesive, even though Cameron was playing his first game and Rohan been interrupted and there’s been some small forwards that we haven’t had available.
‘[It’s] something we’ll focus on and unfortunately you can’t fix it overnight, you’ve just gotta get the games together and the training together to build that.”
Along with Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron, Mitch Duncan and Gary Rohan also gave West Coast defenders a headache.
They kicked four and three goals respectively, combined for 39 disposals, 19 score involvements and 19 marks.
Duncan in particular provided the highlight of the day, unloading a 60 metre barrel for goal before half time.
Scott is likely to persist with him in the forward line in the future.
“We’ve seen him play forward a bit last year,” he said.
“He’s got a knack of kicking goals, so that’s always a positive. He’s a bit flat that he missed that shot late to kick five.
“It was working for us, so we persisted with it.”
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