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WATCH | Bartel’s surprise at rapid Geelong improvement

Levy, Riddell & Bartel


Geelong legend Jimmy Bartel admits he’s surprised at his former side’s rate of improvement.

The Cats sit one game clear on top of the AFL ladder after six games, losing just once so far this season.

They comfortably beat reigning premiers West Coast by 58 points on Sunday, strengthening their credentials as one of this season’s premiership favourites.

Bartel told Macquarie Sports Radio there’s been a clear shift in list strategy after last season which has seen the likes of mature-age players Gary Rohan and Luke Dahlhaus thrive in their new environments.

“Apart from high draft pick Jordan Clark, the other (draftees) have done an apprenticeship in their second tier side,” he said.

“They’ve had two guys who were young but have played a whole year at VFL level against men so they’re ready to go.

“They’re young as far as games are concerned but they’re not young as far as experience playing senior footy.

“They’re actually a very mature, physical side and they’re playing that way.

“It’s making them pretty hard to beat – they’ve been bashing sides around the ball to be honest.

He said Geelong are in premiership contention this year.

“They’ll get themselves in the top four again and they’re playing a game style that’s a lot more suited,” he said.

“Last year they relied on a lot of individuals and their brilliance.

“Now collectively as a unit they look incredibly dangerous.”

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Levy, Riddell & Bartel