Guths Determination

CAMERON Guthrie has his sights on owning a position in Geelong’s backline after the biggest pre-season of his career.
Cameron Guthrie in action against Freo last week The 20-year-old played two games in his debut season in 2011, then stepped up and made 18 appearances at the highest level in 2012, averaging 11 possessions a game.

And having bulked up to 87kg over the summer, he is confident he now has the endurance and power to match it with the best medium forwards in the competition. “My first year, in particular, we were pulled out of a lot of drills, and in my second year the same thing happened a little bit,” Guthrie told AFL.com.au. “So you do get that gradual step up. I’ve done more than I ever have this pre-season, and more even than a lot of the more experienced guys who might back off their training as they get a little bit older, so they can handle it. So pre-season has been hard work, but come match days I expect to see the benefits.”

Guthrie headed to Perth for Geelong’s round one NAB Cup matches against West Coast and Fremantle at Patersons Stadium. Roaming across half-back, he gathered seven possessions in the Cats’ come-from-behind win over the Eagles, impressing with his ball-use and poise. He picked up another three touches and laid a couple of tackles in Geelong’s loss to Freo.

After a week off, Guthrie is expected to line up in Saturday’s NAB Cup clash with Adelaide at Simonds Stadium.

And with Josh Hunt still fighting back from his bout of glandular fever, Guthrie is on track to run out in the blockbuster Easter Monday clash against Hawthorn in round one of the home and away season. “I don’t think any of the players at the club think, ‘Josh Hunt’s gone down, there’s my opportunity,'” Guthrie said. “It’s just a matter of working hard during the pre-season. Even if Josh was fully fit I’d expect all the young boys to be after a spot in the team – not just in the backline where Josh plays, but in the forward line and the midfield as well. So we hope Josh gets back to full health and is right to go sooner rather than later – hopefully round one.”

Guthrie also appears to have a bright future off the field.

He looked a coach in the making when he put the Cobram footy club’s under-17 team through its paces during Geelong’s community camp. “We’re usually on the receiving end of the coaching, so it was good fun to be dishing out the instructions for a change,” Guthrie said. “You pick up plenty of knowledge along the way, so it was good to pass a bit on to these blokes. Hopefully they took a bit of it on board.”